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|Focus||Campaigning for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union|
|Edward Spalton (Chairman), George West (President)|
The Campaign for an Independent Britain (CIB) was formed in 1969 as a cross party coalition opposed to Common Market entry in 1973. It is an umbrella group supported by public donations with an elected executive of up to 14 members that has become recognised as the leading group of eurosceptic campaigners in the UK, being one of the few groups which has advocated withdrawal from what is now the European Union ever since the UK joined.
The founding organisations were the Labour Euro Safeguards Campaign, Conservatives Against a Federal Europe, Campaign Against European Federation (trade unions) and Get Britain Out.
Other organisations which have representatives on the CIB National Committee are The Freedom Association, the Bruges Group and the Anti-Common Market League. CIB co-operates with the Tax Payers’ Alliance and Save Our Sovereignty. CIB was instrumental in setting up TEAM which is the body to which Eurosceptic groups across the European Union belong.
The CIB is non-party-political, non-racist and non-sectarian. Its Constitution states that its objective is:
“to campaign for the restoration of full national sovereignty to the UK by its withdrawal from the obligations of the Treaties of European Union and the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 as amended so that Parliament may legislate freely and the UK may co-operate with other nations as it thinks fit”
It is a “broad church” of political opinion but states that it will not tolerate racists or extremists from either side of the political divide and that it rejects any organisation known to be motivated by anti democratic intentions.
CIB publicises the advantages of a better future outside of the restrictive EU with Britain free to further its own trading links with the rest of the world, in particular with Commonwealth countries and English speaking nations
CIB’s president is George West, who replaced long serving co-presidents Sir Richard Body, a former Conservative MP, and Baron Stoddart of Swindon both of whom retired in 2011. The past chairman, George West, condemned NATO, along with the EU, in a letter to the Leicester Mercury. Vice presidents are Baron Pearson of Rannoch, Leolin Price CBE QC, Nigel Spearing (for nine years chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee in the Commons), Sir Teddy Taylor and Sir Robin Williams. The CIB chairman is Petrina Holdsworth who succeeded George West who followed the independent MP Bob Spink, and before him Baron Stoddart of Swindon. Lord Shore (formerly the Labour minister Peter Shore) helped run the CIB for many years until his death. The treasurer and membership secretary is John Harrison, FCA FCCA. Members are from across the United Kingdom and overseas.
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