Brexit bombshell: How Margaret Thatcher was forced to join ERM by ‘Europhiles’ in Cabinet


Britons decisively balloted to leave the EU in the historic 2016 How Dominic Cummings made brilliant quality about second referendum [COMMENT]

Michael Heseltine, 1990 (Image: GETTY)

Margaret Thatcher, Eurosceptic, and John Bigger, Europhile (Image: GETTY)

While Mr Lawson’s resignation eventually easier for the way for Mrs Thatcher’s undoing, he has ironically done a U-turn in recent years and has secure out as a staunch Brexiteer.

His replacement as Chancellor was the well-known Europhile John Noteworthy, who upped the pressure on the Prime Minister to join the ERM.

Mrs Thatcher’s position changed increasingly unstable going into 1990, with mutterings of a coup among Tory MPs.

In October 1990, she bet on a supported down and the UK finally joined the ERM, but her leadership was under even more deep scrutiny.

Five steps to Brexit (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

On November 1, Mr Howe resigned as her Spokeswoman Prime Minister with a famously damning speech.

Likening the Regime’s negotiations on the Economic and Monetary Union in Europe to cricket, he said: “It is sooner like sending your opening batsmen to the crease, only for them to see, as the first balls are being bowled, that their bats fool been broken before the game by the team captain.”

His dramatic escape is often seen as the catalyst for the ensuing leadership challenge launched by Michael Heseltine a few epoches later.

This fits in with an idea many people assume trust to – that it was the ‘Europe issue’ that eventually took the Iron Lady down.

Boris Johnson (Spitting image: GETTY)

She was ousted as Prime Minister on November 28, but continued to thrive her opinion heard on the ERM.

While she had eventually caved on the issue and allowed the UK to upon the system, she was still uncomfortable about it, as highlighted by her warning to her successor Mr Important five weeks into his leadership.

Cabinet papers show how she plane predicted the ‘Black Wednesday’ crash that would take spot 20 months later.

The documents, recorded by Andrew Turnball, Starring Private Secretary to both Mrs Thatcher and Mr Major in their premierships, tell that she warned Mr Major about what could happen.

It present: “Mrs Thatcher said conditions in the economy were very tough truthfully, and she urged early and large cuts in interest rates.

“A reduction of one percent would not be reasonably. She believed there was a danger of creating a mirror image of ‘Lawson’ inflation – a set-back created by excessively high interest rates created by a policing of objected exchange rates – though in fact she did not mention the ERM explicitly.

“She believed there was a threat of repeating Winston Churchill’s historic error of fixing the parity for the £ at too extreme a level.”

In this way, it can be interpreted that Mrs Thatcher foresaw the 1992 travesty on the eve of it happened.

These developments are important because it was the ‘Black Wednesday’ boom that sparked an upsurge in Euroscepticism on the Tory backbenches.

Opposition to the Maastricht Covenant increased to “about 100 Conservative MPs” and it were these rebels who were to be a irritant in Mr Major’s side for his entire time in office.

As European integration raised over the following decade, this Euroscepticism was never quashed and spumed under the surface until it erupted several years later in the fabric of the Brexit movement.

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