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Newsnight 1992 report on Maastrict rebellion against John Major
Newsnight 1992 report on Maastrict rebellion against John Major
Published: 2016/01/06
Channel: Lost in Transmission
On the Record - Maastricht Vote
On the Record - Maastricht Vote
Published: 2011/12/27
Channel: UncleGagag
Bill Cash, Why I voted against Maastricht
Bill Cash, Why I voted against Maastricht
Published: 2016/12/07
Channel: Channel Brexit
Maastricht Rebels
Maastricht Rebels
Published: 2016/09/16
Channel: WikiWikiup
BBC Six o
BBC Six o'clock news Maastricht treaty and Exchange Rate Mechanism problems 1993
Published: 2015/06/24
Channel: Philip Reed
Bruges Group Maastricht Rebellion Dinner introduced by Barry Legg
Bruges Group Maastricht Rebellion Dinner introduced by Barry Legg
Published: 2012/11/22
Channel: Calgacus Libris
On the Record   Maastricht Vote
On the Record Maastricht Vote
Published: 2013/07/07
Channel: peter carter
Welcome to kindergarten: the home of the rebels | George Rice, III | TEDxFoggyBottom
Welcome to kindergarten: the home of the rebels | George Rice, III | TEDxFoggyBottom
Published: 2015/05/05
Channel: TEDx Talks
Maastricht Treaty
Maastricht Treaty
Published: 2013/07/07
Channel: peter carter
Maastricht Treaty Turns 25 Years Old
Maastricht Treaty Turns 25 Years Old
Published: 2017/02/07
Channel: NTDTV
James Arthur - Say You Won
James Arthur - Say You Won't Let Go | Da Rebels Choreography | OrokanaWorld
Published: 2017/01/21
Channel: OrokanaWorld
From Maastricht to Paris
From Maastricht to Paris
Published: 2011/02/19
Channel: DinosaurTheatre
Maastricht Netherland MBA graduation ceremony 2010 in Vietnam
Maastricht Netherland MBA graduation ceremony 2010 in Vietnam
Published: 2010/08/25
Channel: anhphuoc11
Jennifer Romen // OrokanaWorld #ONTOUR MAASTRICHT //
Jennifer Romen // OrokanaWorld #ONTOUR MAASTRICHT //
Published: 2016/09/16
Channel: OrokanaWorld
SCOPE Maastricht - Board Experience
SCOPE Maastricht - Board Experience
Published: 2014/06/19
Channel: SCOPEmaastricht
Aleppo Maastricht dec 14 2016
Aleppo Maastricht dec 14 2016
Published: 2016/12/14
Channel: Harrys SPPMovies
Lady Thatcher:  Maastricht treaty
Lady Thatcher: Maastricht treaty
Published: 2016/06/01
Channel: TheChrisg00
Colombia
Colombia's ELN Talks: Government to negotiate with ELN rebels
Published: 2017/02/07
Channel: TRT World
UK: JOHN MAJOR: CRITICAL HOUSE OF COMMONS VOTE
UK: JOHN MAJOR: CRITICAL HOUSE OF COMMONS VOTE
Published: 2015/07/21
Channel: AP Archive
OrokanaWorld #ONTOUR // MAASTRICHT // RECAP
OrokanaWorld #ONTOUR // MAASTRICHT // RECAP
Published: 2016/09/15
Channel: OrokanaWorld
Colombia ELN rebels release hostage on the eve of peace talks
Colombia ELN rebels release hostage on the eve of peace talks
Published: 2017/02/07
Channel: euronews (in English)
Winnaars 2014: Pink Rebels
Winnaars 2014: Pink Rebels
Published: 2014/12/09
Channel: Eric Filmbeheerdwh
Pot Leading To Lower Grades?
Pot Leading To Lower Grades?
Published: 2017/07/29
Channel: The Young Turks
Rebel Geeks - Give Us Back Our Data
Rebel Geeks - Give Us Back Our Data
Published: 2015/12/07
Channel: Al Jazeera English
EU festival marks 25th anniversary of Maastricht treaty signing
EU festival marks 25th anniversary of Maastricht treaty signing
Published: 2017/02/07
Channel: Al Jazeera English
'Three cheers for Gina Miller!' Brexiteer mocks Remainer and rubbishes Tory rebellion
Published: 2017/07/10
Channel: 00Fast News
Atomic Spliff and The Rebel Dubz 22-12-2014 Muziekgieterij/Maastricht/NL
Atomic Spliff and The Rebel Dubz 22-12-2014 Muziekgieterij/Maastricht/NL
Published: 2014/12/22
Channel: JahLoveSurround
Aldi Maastricht: Cashier vs Thief
Aldi Maastricht: Cashier vs Thief
Published: 2011/04/11
Channel: hpnotiqu
Rebels 6years anniversary experimental battle elimination part1
Rebels 6years anniversary experimental battle elimination part1
Published: 2015/09/26
Channel: Michael Herda
De Zuidergarde met De Nachtploeg -
De Zuidergarde met De Nachtploeg - 'Rebels' # 7 We Komen Eraan E.P.
Published: 2010/05/18
Channel: MaastrictlyHiphop
Mirusia Maastricht 3 december 2016
Mirusia Maastricht 3 december 2016
Published: 2016/12/04
Channel: pd7mer
Atomic Spliff & The Rebels Dubz Interview
Atomic Spliff & The Rebels Dubz Interview
Published: 2014/09/21
Channel: Jamy PhotoJamyProd
Nationaal COC Songfestival 2013, Maastricht
Nationaal COC Songfestival 2013, Maastricht
Published: 2013/12/08
Channel: Nationaal COC Songfestival
No Time Funky Soul Band in Cafe de Belsj Maastricht Kings eve
No Time Funky Soul Band in Cafe de Belsj Maastricht Kings eve
Published: 2015/04/29
Channel: No Time Soul band
Meet Hera!
Meet Hera!
Published: 2015/08/31
Channel: Evi van Dijk
Mac Taple Eindhoven Rockin rebels keep on dancing 2007 The indoor sportcentre Eindhoven
Mac Taple Eindhoven Rockin rebels keep on dancing 2007 The indoor sportcentre Eindhoven
Published: 2016/09/08
Channel: pd7mer
Salford MP Rebecca Long Bailey on
Salford MP Rebecca Long Bailey on 'hurt' of No Confidence Vote and Labour future
Published: 2016/09/23
Channel: Salford Online
Andre Rieu kasteel
Andre Rieu kasteel
Published: 2015/05/11
Channel: pd7mer
Backfire! - All Bets Are Off (Full Album)
Backfire! - All Bets Are Off (Full Album)
Published: 2015/01/29
Channel: Dutch Hardcore/punk
Syria: ISIL stronghold of al-Bab
Syria: ISIL stronghold of al-Bab 'surrounded', supply routes 'cut off'
Published: 2017/02/07
Channel: euronews (in English)
Brassband CHPQ in Café FORUM, Maastricht, 9 maart 2013
Brassband CHPQ in Café FORUM, Maastricht, 9 maart 2013
Published: 2013/03/11
Channel: Jack Mueve
Rasta Rebel & Fyah Roots Band (Bumper)
Rasta Rebel & Fyah Roots Band (Bumper)
Published: 2013/12/10
Channel: Lion Bobmano Kingbobo
Warzone - War Between Races (live in Maastricht, Holland)
Warzone - War Between Races (live in Maastricht, Holland)
Published: 2013/05/25
Channel: AmericanOiFacebook
Gina - "Oh De Liefde" - Winnaar Nationaal COC Songfestival 2013 Maastricht
Gina - "Oh De Liefde" - Winnaar Nationaal COC Songfestival 2013 Maastricht
Published: 2013/12/02
Channel: Nationaal COC Songfestival
Atomic Spliff and The Rebel Dubz + Makoka Sound @ Rogery, le 29/11
Atomic Spliff and The Rebel Dubz + Makoka Sound @ Rogery, le 29/11
Published: 2014/11/03
Channel: ASBL Jam'in
The Rebel Double 1990
The Rebel Double 1990
Published: 2015/12/09
Channel: DVDSales.ie
60th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome
60th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome
Published: 2017/03/22
Channel: European Defence Agency
Atomic Spliff and The Rebel Dubz - Run Away (live)
Atomic Spliff and The Rebel Dubz - Run Away (live)
Published: 2015/04/14
Channel: Gubbs233
Miswueny Bart Choreography | Milo & Fabio - INKUMODA (Afro House) | OrokanaWorld
Miswueny Bart Choreography | Milo & Fabio - INKUMODA (Afro House) | OrokanaWorld
Published: 2017/06/09
Channel: OrokanaWorld
Egyptian Air Force Scanning and Saluting the June rebels..
Egyptian Air Force Scanning and Saluting the June rebels..
Published: 2013/07/02
Channel: Amr Osman
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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The Maastricht Rebels were British members of Parliament (MPs) belonging to the then governing Conservative Party who refused to support the government of Prime Minister John Major in a series of votes in the House of Commons on the issue of the implementation of the Maastricht Treaty (Treaty on European Union) in British law.

The Maastricht Rebellion was a major event in the life of John Major's troubled second term as Prime Minister (1992–1997). Major's party had a small majority, thus giving the relatively small number of rebels disproportionate influence: for example, there were 22 rebels on the second reading of the European Communities (Amendment) Bill in May 1992, and the government's majority at the time was only 18.

The rebellion had the support of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former Party Chairman Norman Tebbit.

Significant events in the rebellion[edit]

Prime Minister John Major fought for the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty.[1]
Margaret Thatcher actively opposed the Maastricht Treaty.[2] She declared in a speech in the House of Lords that she "could never have signed that Treaty".[3]

At the height of the rebellion, the 1993 Christchurch by-election was held, where a Conservative majority of 23,000 was turned into a Liberal Democrat majority of 16,000. Conservative showings in opinion polls were as low as 23%. John Major threatened the rebels with a general election (despite one only being held a year earlier), which may have meant a severe defeat for the Conservative Party and a Labour victory,[opinion] then led by John Smith.

The Labour Party brought-in heart attack victims and MPs who had just had surgery, the stretcher vote, to vote in an effort to bring the government down. The loyalists and rebels in the Conservative Party also brought in their own stretcher vote; for example Bill Cash organised for one MP (Bill Walker) who was seriously ill to fly from Scotland secretly, then hid him at the rebels' headquarters in Great College Street, before, with Labour connivance, hiding him in the family room of the Commons so that the Conservative whips would not know; the government consequently lost a vote.

At Third Reading, on 20 May 1993, the Labour whip was to abstain. Despite this, 66 Labour MPs chose to vote against the Bill, while five (Andrew Faulds, John Home Robertson, Calum MacDonald, Giles Radice and Brian Sedgemore) supported the Government. The Bill passed Third Reading 292–112.[4]

On 22 July 1993, on a Labour amendment to postpone incorporation of the Treaty until the Government adopted the 27th Amendment thereto (the Protocol on Social Policy or "Social Chapter"), the government tied 317–317 against the combined forces of some of the rebels, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and others. It was thus only by Speaker Betty Boothroyd's casting vote that the Government won (the Speaker casting her vote in accordance with Speaker Denison's rule not to create a majority where none exists), to date the most recent occasion on which such a vote has been called for. The remaining rebels (who had abstained on the amendment) then joined their colleagues to defeat the main take-note motion 324–316.

On the following day, it emerged, on inspection of the Division List, that the Government Whip and teller of the Opposition votes Irvine Patnick had failed to notice an overcount of one vote for the Labour amendment. Had he done so, it would have meant a clear win without a reliance being placed on the Speaker. On the next day (Friday) the government tabled a reworded motion to its predecessor, seeking the confidence of the House in their policy on the Social Chapter instead of merely "taking note" thereof. As a result, the Government easily won the substantive question by 339–299. Had the government lost this motion of confidence, a dissolution would have been requested and probably granted.

Bill Cash set-up the European Foundation to fund legal challenges to the government. Opposition to Maastricht led to the foundation of the Anti-Federalist League which ultimately led to the creation of the UK Independence Party (UKIP). Certain rebels later went on to join that political party, such as Christopher Gill and Richard Body, with Roger Knapman serving as their leader from 2002 to 2006.

The Maastricht rebels continued to harass the government on European issues, coming close to bringing the Government down 3 times. They repeatedly called Major's bluff on an early dissolution of Parliament. On 23 November 1994, Nick Budgen asked him whether he had spoken to the Queen about dissolving Parliament. On 25 November 1994, Christopher Gill stated he would sooner resign as a Conservative than vote for the Bill. All those Conservatives who rebelled over the EC Finance Bill on 28 November 1994 had the Conservative whip withdrawn.

Deselection was threatened, so those Conservative MPs would not be able to stand at the next election, although at that time it was mostly a decision for the party members in their Constituency Association. Budgen summed the attitude of the rebels up with this quote: "It would be my general feeling that the transference of power to Europe was so important a matter as to require a vote against any organisation and any party that wished to transfer that power."[5] In 1995, Major called an early leadership election to attempt to reimpose his authority on the party, and won. However, the infighting continued, and the Conservatives were heavily defeated in the general election of May 1997.

Rebels who had whip withdrawn[edit]

Those who had the whip withdrawn following the EC Finance Bill:

Other MPs who had whip withdrawn for failure to support the government on a confidence issue related to Maastricht:

Rebels who also voted against the Government[edit]

Rebels who abstained[edit]

Other rebels[edit]

Changes to party rules since 1997[edit]

After the Conservatives' catastrophic defeat at the 1997 election, blamed in part on the embarrassment caused by the open rebelliousness and infighting of elements in the party, changes were made to the party's procedures to reduce the freedom of backbench MPs to rebel. Local constituency associations are now permitted to select as candidates only members of the approved party list or MPs with the whip.

The party leadership could therefore require a rebellious MP (or an MP involved in a scandal) to be deselected as a candidate by removing his or her name from the Candidates' List or by removing the whip as was done to Howard Flight at the 2005 general election. Local members who refuse to obey the instructions of Conservative Central Office can have their Association suspended (put on "Special Measures"), as was done to the Slough Association at that election when they refused to deselect their candidate.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Menon, Anand (7 February 2017). "Unhappy anniversary: Maastricht 25 years on"Free access subject to limited trial, subscription normally required. The Times. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  2. ^ "Thatcher and her tussles with Europe". BBC News. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  3. ^ "European Communities (Amendment) Bill". Margaret Thatcher Foundation. 7 June 1993. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Davies, Patricia Wynn (20 May 1993). "Tory MPs in record revolt: Lamont leaves door open for ERM re-entry". The Independent. 
  5. ^ "Obituaries: Nicholas Budgen: An arch Euro-sceptic". BBC News. 26 October 1998. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Goodwin, Stephen (9 March 1993). "Maastricht Vote: Labour jubilant at Government's Commons defeat: Opposition MPs claim amendment 28 result is a 'humiliation' for John Major as Conservatives appear dismayed and confused". The Independent. ISSN 0951-9467. OCLC 185201487. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 

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