The Ideal of European Freedom
Speech at the Youth for Europe Rally in Birmingham, June 2, 1979, Five Days Before the First Elections to the European Parliament
Next week 180 million free people of nine different free countries will go to the polls in freedom to elect one free parliament to represent them all. They will do so in a Western Europe which for the first time in its history is composed entirely of democratic governments. How we all welcomed Portugal and Spain into the democratic European family. The new assembly will be the first multi-national, multi-lingual parliament ever to be elected in the long story of man's continuing struggle for peace and freedom . . . and marks a crucial milestone in Europe's journey. . . .
The Socialists may be divided in this country, but the Communists and Socialists are well organised elsewhere. Wherever there is a representative assembly, Conservatives and those who share our beliefs in a free society must fight with that zeal and dedication which, too often in the past, has been the prerogative of the left. Whenever a representative assembly is being elected, those who believe in democracy have a duty to cast their vote. We are asking not only for a massive turn-out of voters, but for a massive Conservative vote. Conservative principles do not change when we cross the Channel. There must be a golden threat of consistency running through our policies for Britain and our policies for the European Community.
During our own election campaign, we argued for reduced public spending, lower taxation, more effective competition, and a relentless war on bureaucracy. We shall pursue these same objectives in Europe. During this European election, we argue for reduced spending on the Common