Mrs Thatcher would have backed Brexit, say British voters

David Harding
Contributor
Baroness Thatcher (Photo OWEN HUMPHREYS/PA)

Margaret Thatcher would have voted for Brexit, British voters believe.

Thirty five per cent of voters believe the former prime minister would have backed Britain leaving the European Union.

That jumps to 48% among Leave voters, according to the poll from You Gov.

However, among Remain voters, just 25% believe the Iron Lady would have backed Brexit, and 42% think she would have voted to stay.

Although the woman who ruled Britain from 1979 until 1990 was seen by many as anti-Europe, Mrs Thatcher had a complex relationship with the EU.

In the 1975 referendum on whether the UK should continue to be a member of the EU, she was a firm campaigner for the Remain vote.

She even told one political rally that “the case for Britain's continued membership is being made strongly throughout the country. It is a strong case”.

Mrs Thatcher signed up to the Single European Act, the keynote 1986 law which saw an overhaul of the way the EU acted and committed countries, including the UK, to establishing a single market by 1992.

Mrs Thatcher campaigning on the Isle of Wight during the 1983 General Election (PA)

However, she was also known for her strong rows with Brussels, demanding “I want my money back!” in a row over UK contributions to the EU.

She also famously said “No! No! No!” when Brussels sought greater powers for the European Commission and Parliament.

The poll also saw Mrs Thatcher voted as Britain’s greatest post-war leader with 21% of the vote, just ahead of Winston Churchill.

Tony Blair received just six per cent of the vote.

Her greatest contribution, according to 41%, was being the first female PM of the country.

However, the second woman PM, Theresa May, fared much worse, with no one voting for her as the best leader since 1945.

She was placed alongside fellow Tories Anthony Eden and Edward Heath and Labour’s Jim Callaghan.

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