JUNE 18TH, 2000
Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this
transcript is used
Now it's been quite a political flurry this past week, over a very rich businessman
called Paul Sykes. He's passionate about keeping Britain out of the single currency
and he's prepared to back his beliefs with his personal fortune. But who's to gain?
Well Paul Sykes is with us right now, good morning Paul.
Good morning David.
And you've decided that basically the Tory policy, particularly to do with
referendums is one that you can support and this is why you've changed direction?
Oh absolutey ...
You haven't changed direction on your basic beliefs but who you support?
No what I've changed on is, is, is, I've come onboard clearly with what William
Hague has stated about having referendums, national referendums before any more
treaties are ratified and powers are shifted from Britain to Brussels without the will
of the people. That's all we've ever wanted, that's been all I've been about, that's
what we stated with the democracy movement, stating quite clearly why can't we
include the British people in making them aware what's been transferred and then
asking and looking for a national referendum so they can have a say in it.
And Norman Tebbit says in the paper today that he played an important role in
bringing you together with the Tory Party?
Norman Tebbit has, has always been a very good ally and good friend of mine.
And so he helped to persuade William Hague to take these policies on?
I've no idea whether he did that or not, I mean that's entirely up to Norman, if he
did I think he's brought forward a wonderful policy that will give the Conservative
Party a wonderful chance at the next election because this, as I say, has been only
on offer from now with him making the Conservative Party to at long last give the
British people a say before what belongs to them gets transferred from Britain to
Brussels and then becomes rules and laws imposed on Britain.
So that in fact you've spoken to Norman Tebbit but not to William Hague?
No I haven't spoken to Norman¿William Hague at all, categorically not.
Now what about, how much money are you prepared to give Paul, I mean there
have been quotes that, that, £2 million at the last election but then there was a quote
that you were prepared to sink £20 million into this campaign, how much would
you be prepared to give the Tory Party as they continue with this policy?
Well there's no way that I want to get into saying what we're going to give and
what we're not going to give. The fact of the matter is William has got my support
because, the reason, getting back to the reason why I left the Conservative Party in
the first place, because of the Maastricht Treaty being pushed through on a three
line Whip with two votes, not holding it to a national referendum. I'm back in the
fold because of that and as soon as, I've made no contact and had no contact with
Central Office or William Hague, but I'm here now, I will fall in line with the
policies they've got, there's no way they're going to hear any difference about
policies at all, it'll be William Hague be doing my speaking in future, not me, I'm
fully, and it'll be up to him what he wants me to do, I'm here to serve the party.
But one of the things you will be doing will be getting out your chequebook?
Who knows, whenever he's ready and to promote the policy that he's come out with
to give British people more of a say, to get information out of British people
because that's what is sadly lacking, of course that's what I'll do, that's what I've
done ever since I set up the Democracy Movement, is allow information to get to
the people, they know nothing about the treaty that's already passed.
And you, so you, you'll probably be prepared because of that to spend more than
you did last time?
Yes, I'm prepared on this issue of who governs Britain and saving our democracy
and that's the next election's going to be the most vital in, ever as far as I'm
concerned. Who governs Britain, that's the next election.
And what about, and what about, you, you say that you left the Tory Party after
Maastricht and so on, have they indicated you can come back?
Well I've applied for my membership of Harrogate constituency on last Thursday,
sent my membership, you know my application off, who knows they may not want
me back but if they do I will serve the party and I'm not making no more statements
about party policy after this interview.
Right, and in terms of party policy and so on, of course there's one other thing Paul,
that you would die for, but I guess you recognise that the Conservatives have gone
about as far as they can go and they couldn't, you'd actually like to see a
referendum about leaving the European Union wouldn't you?
No, well I get quoted as saying that¿
And is it true?
No what I would like to see ultimately¿
Is renegotiation of the present treaties, that's what I would personally like,
renegotiation of the present treaties because the present treaties are drawn so tight
that Britain can no longer declare itself a self-governing democracy, even with those
treaties in place, I would like to renegotiate those treaties.
So you would like to do that, yes, if it could be done?
If it could, well that's what the, that's what people tell you and all, each treaty is
negotiated, they've been negotiated the way they are at great default to Britain's
independence and self-government.
And how do you feel about being back in the party that's not only the party of
William Hague but is also the, the party of Euro, positive Euro thinkers like
Michael Heseltine and Kenneth Clarke and so on, do you mind being in the same
party as them with very, very different views?
Well I would think you've got to say we are a very, very broad church that
encompasses people like Kenneth Clarke and Heseltine. But you know they are also
going to start supporting the Labour Party in, get us in as soon as possible. I just
wish they understood fully what Conservatism means, it doesn't mean ever handing
over control of this nation's economy to someone you can't elect and can't sack, I
find that's quite unusual for a Conservative believer.
And so do you think you'll win this battle? Do you think you'll win this battle of
eventually getting us out of the European Union and in the meantime never getting
us in to the single currency?
The battle, the battle David, is the next election, that's what it's all about, the next
election, now they vote Conservative and keep control of our economy and keep
control of, of the various treaties and have national referendums, have a say in the
treaties otherwise they hand over for five years and come on, they've declared,
Tony Blair quite clearly has declared in the House of Commons it's on Hansard,
that he intends to have us engaged in political union, that's economic union, but
that means political union basically¿
Well he would say it doesn't mean political union but if that's the key¿
Well all the people on the continent will tell you it is political union and you can't
tell me any economic union that's not finished up in political union, that's historical
fact and it's actually economic fact.
Well we're delighted you've come along and explained where you, where you're
coming from and a million thanks.
Thanks for the time.
Paul Sykes, ladies and a gentlemen.