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How the seed of Brexit was planted 30 years ago

Britain's Brexit fate was sealed in 1988—with just two speeches by Margaret Thatcher

Precisely 30 years ago this autumn, the Conservatives ceased to be the “party of Europe” and began to move fitfully—by lurches, lunges and sidesteps—to “Euroscepticism,” a term invented in the process. In her speech in Bruges on 20th September 1988, and then in her speech at the Conservative conference four weeks later, Margaret Thatcher spoke about Europe very differently than before.

Already in office for over nine years, with three election wins behind her, she was still riding high in the polls. She enjoyed widespread respect abroad—as soulmate of…

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