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Thatcher’s Biographer Says She Supported U.K. Exit From EU

May 08, 2013

Margaret Thatcher concluded in about 1992 that the U.K. should leave the European Union, her biographer said, explaining that aides persuaded her not to announce her change of view publicly.

“I think it happened after the Maastricht Treaty in 1992,” Charles Moore wrote in the Spectator magazine. “Advisers had persuaded her that she should not say this in public since it would have allowed her opponents to drive her to the fringes of public life.”

Moore, who had full access to Thatcher’s archive as well as her support in writing her authorized biography, published the first volume, going up to 1982, last month, shortly after her death. He said in his Spectator article that he thought her views on the EU were widely known.

The news came the day after Nigel Lawson, Thatcher’s former chancellor of the exchequer, became the most senior Conservative to say that he plans to vote for Britain to leave the EU if there is a referendum.

Thatcher stepped down as prime minister in 1990. Her successor, John Major, signed the Maastricht Treaty, laying the foundations of today’s EU, in 1992.

Moore also said Thatcher wouldn’t have joined the anti-EU U.K. Independence Party. “She would never have joined a party which could not win a general election.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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