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Michael Heseltine: how the Conservative Party turned its back on Europe

The former deputy PM says the Tories have thrown away their record of leadership on the continent

By Alex Dean  

Photo: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

Britain’s departure from Europe is owned by the Conservative Party. It was a Tory PM who called the referendum in 2016 and another will likely implement the result. The most vocal Leavers are found on the Tory benches, some of whom literally view the EU as a hostile foreign power. Yet it was not always so. It was a Conservative leader, Harold Macmillan, who first sought British membership of the European Communities, another who took us in (Edward Heath), and another who pioneered the single market (Margaret Thatcher).


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