So France’s Europe Minister Pierre Lellouche thinks that British Conservatives have “castrated themselves” and that William Hague’s European policy published yesterday is “autistic”.
I am a great Francophile. Both my parents were brought up in France. All my children went to the French Lycée in London for part of their education, as did I. I speak French. I have a picture of General Charles de Gaulle hanging in my office.
When de Gaulle arrived in Bordeaux in June 1940 the other politicians and soldiers were walking around like scared rabbits. He didn’t say it’s all over, we can’t resist history, the Germans have won. He said, “La France a perdu une bataille, mais la France n’a pas perdu la guerre.” “France has lost a battle, but France has not lost the war.”
The truth is that British Conservatives are not isolated from Europe. We have many friends and our vision of a de Gaulle “Europe des Patries” is gaining ground.
One day and not too long in the future, after we have repatriated powers, we will lead a referendum to give our people the choice and buttress our vision of a deregulated Europe of nation states trading freely with each other. Our time will come.