• Heritage Action
  • More
Jun 17

Margaret Thatcher, Thatcherism, Europe, and Brexit

As Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher defended Britain's national interests within the EU and accepted modest steps towards Europe's economic integration, but she became increasingly hostile to its political unification and the transfer of powers from London to Brussels that it entailed. Her downfall was in part precipitated by her resistance to "ever closer union." After losing power she spoke and wrote extensively in opposition to European federalism and the concept of a European super-state that she felt would divide and weaken the West. Almost the first controversy of the Brexit campaign was over how she would vote if she had lived to see it. How would she vote? How will the Tory Party, traditionally the patriotic party, recover from a campaign that has bitterly divided it along unfamiliar lines? How will Mrs. Thatcher's legacy of ideas – a.k.a. Thatcherism – influence the result? And how will her historical reputation be affected by whatever the British people decide?

John OʼSullivan served as Special Advisor to Prime Minister Thatcher in Downing Street (1986-1988) and assisted her in the composition of her memoirs. Currently he is Editor of Quadrant Magazine in Sydney, Australia, and President of the Danube Institute, a free market, transatlantic think tank in Budapest, Hungary. He is a Senior Fellow at the National Review Institute and Editor-at-Large of National Review where he served as Editor-in-Chief for almost a decade. In four decades as a writer, columnist, and editor on both sides of the Atlantic, he served most recently as the Executive Editor of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague, Editor of the foreign-policy quarterly National Interest, and Editor-in-Chief of United Press International. His book, The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister, on the roles played by Pope John Paul II, President Reagan, and Prime Minister Thatcher in the collapse of Communism and the revival of Western market democracies, has been published in seven languages.

More About the Speakers

John O’Sullivan
Author and Journalist

Hosted By

Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. Nile Gardiner, Ph.D.

Director, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom Read More