The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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The Rt Hon. Oliver Letwin MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Home Affairs, to address the Bruges Group

EMBARGOED UNTIL MIDNIGHT 10th JUNE 2003

Mr Oliver Letwin will discuss the EU Constitution and the threat it poses to Britain’s legal system. Mr Letwin will also increase the pressure on the Government to call a referendum on this issue.

Oliver Letwin will say in a speech to the Bruges Group tonight; “One of the least noticed features of the EU constitution is that it provides the basis for the gradual transfer of virtually the entire criminal law from our Parliament and other national Parliaments to Brussels.

“It is also significant that Mr Hain, in rebutting this suggestion, actually engages in a sleight of hand, which amounts to admitting that the Government has no intention of changing the draft constitution in this respect.

“If ever there were a case for supposing that this constitution should be subject to a referendum and that it is not merely a ‘tidying-up exercise’, this is it.”

- ENDS -

– NOTES TO EDITORS –
Oliver Letwin will be speaking from 7:15pm – 7:40pm
He will be taking questions from 7:40pm – 8:00pm

Professor Patrick Minford will discuss the economic consequences of EU membership and the EU Constitution from 6:30pm – 7:15pm

The event will take place on Wednesday, 11th June 2003 at The British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1

Refreshments (wine, orange juice, water and nibbles) will be available from 8:00pm – 9:30pm.