Probably slightly unfair to link a phrase introduced into the public lexicon 26 years after Thatcher left office, but there is probable evidence, you be the judge and comment below:
Thatcher defiantly declared in the House of Commons with the famous phrase, ‘No No No’ in response for greater central control given to Europe. The European Commission President Jacques Delors was seeking
- European Parliament to be the democratic body of the European Community
- The Commission to be the Executive
- Council of Ministers to be the Senate
The Iron Lady’s response ‘No No No’
It was with some division within the Conservative party and government, Sir Geoffrey Howe resigned from the government 2 days later. A few days after that, the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher was out of Number 10, ousted by her party. The European question had taken one more. Was it all Europe the demise of Thatcher? 1979-90 is a long time for anyone to have the top job, Europe, the Poll Tax you could take your pick.
What if, Thatcher was negotiating Article 50 with the EU?
I am not going to even attempt to plot that one, who knows. Today is a different era, different politics, the arguments are the same. It is almost as difficult to ask the same question of Sir Winston Churchill, or is it? One thing we could agree, it would be unlikely Thatcher would have been willing to U-turn in public. The Iron Lady was the brand, phrases such as ‘we are not for Turning’, ‘they are a weak lot’ cemented the Iron Lady brand. A U-turn Thatcher would be difficult to see.
The lady is not for Turning
Thatcher would have perhaps created the compromise strategy at the start, averting a public U-Turn? That is one option. Perhaps as the resolute response portrayed during those testing times during the Thatcher Years, Thatcher would have pushed the ‘No Deal’ button to the 11hour and 59 minutes and 59 seconds? Before a deal was struck with an EU institution infamous for making deals, at the last minute. The Iron Lady had the resolve to face down barrels of the unknown against an adversary, stiff up lip and all that.
But Who knows, would any leader is that strategic – comment below. No PM works by themselves, would Thatcher have been taken out by a No-confidence vote if the strategy of withdrawing from the EU was a hard solid government policy? The No-confidence vote that saved PM May in 2018 may have axed a modern-day Thatcher. Would be great to read your comments on the What if.