Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
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.
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.

Dinner celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Maastricht Rebellion

Celebrating with the Maastricht Rebels

Bill Cash MP
Barry Legg

Commemorating the Maastricht Rebellion

Click here to read the full speech by Barry Legg


Notable attendees included Rt Hon. Sir Peter Tapsell MP, Father of the House of Commons, and the Cabinet Ministers Rt Hon. Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, and Rt Hon. Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Rt Hon. John Redwood MP was also there.

In November 1992 26 Conservative Members of Parliament defied the government on the Paving Vote for the Maastricht Treaty. Maastricht provided the framework for European government and the establishment of the eurozone. Those who defied their own government set-out the dangers that Maastricht posed for this country and the rest of Europe; the full implications of which are being played out today. Tragically the division was lost by only three votes. This was one of the most important votes in the House of Commons in the twentieth century.


We believe that celebrating the original fight to save the democratic nation-state will encourage politicians and opinion formers to demand an end to the damage done by the EU to our economy and our democracy. The 20th Anniversary celebrations will send a powerful message that there is another way, to be ignored by a government at its peril.

The speakers

Bill Cash, MP
Bill Cash is the Member for Stone. He is the Chairman of the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee. He was also Chairman of the Conservative Backbench Committee of European Affairs 1988-91. In advance of what became the Maastricht Intergovernmental Conference Bill declined a Government position in 1991, choosing instead to orchestrate opposition to the Maastricht Treaty and founding the Maastricht Referendum Campaign. Bill was voted Parliamentary Campaigner of the Year 1991 by an independent panel of journalists.

Bill Cash is the Chairman of the European Foundation and was also Chairman of the Parliamentary Friends of the Bruges Group in the House of Commons. His publications include; Associated, Not Absorbed – The Associated European Area, Are we really Winning on Europe?, Against a Federal Europe: The Battle for Britain and British and German National Interests.

Barry Charles Legg
Barry Legg, representing the seat of Milton Keynes South West, was a key organiser in Parliament against the Maastricht Treaty and subsequently became Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee. Prior to entering the House of Commons Barry was an Executive Director at Hilsdown Holdings plc, one of Britain’s top 100 companies.

Barry is the Chairman of the Bruges Group and was the Chief Executive of the Conservative Party.

Vote of Thanks to the Maastricht Rebels from Mark Pritchard MP
Mark is the Conservative Member of Parliament for The Wrekin in Shropshire which he has represented since 2005. In March 2012 he resigned from a party position due to concerns over an increasing number of government policies, including those on immigration and Europe. He also argued that the government needs a more robust policy on immigration and that it is timid over Europe, and that the EU is holding back growth and costing jobs.

His political interests include; defence, foreign affairs, counter-terrorism, cyber-security and animal welfare. He is a member of the Joint National Security Strategy Committee and a member of the UK’s

Contact us

Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
246 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street
London W1B 5TB
United Kingdom
Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames