Former Conservative prime minister Edward 'Ted' Heath is regarded by many historians as a monumental failure. The 1970s represented the end of the Keynesian consensus that emerged after the Second World War whereby state intervention was the accepted remedy to economic stagnation. After winning the 1970 General Election, Ted Heath had an opportunity to change that after being elected on a manifesto to reverse Britain's declining fortunes with radical free market policies. Instead, he U-turned on them and increased public spending in 1972, leaving his ideas lost until Margaret Thatcher was elected in 1979.

Joining the Common Market in 1973 was not the answer to Mr. Heath's problems

Joining the Common Market in 1973 was not the answer to Mr. Heath's problems. The UK was already part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which it helped create in 1961. As William Dartmouth, the UKIP MEP for the South West, revealed in a recent session of the European Parliament, Mr. Heath sacrificed trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand to join the original European Economic Community. The former Tory prime minister never had Britain's or the Commonwealth's best interests at heart. He lied to Brits about the EEC's true intentions and the legal requirements to join it to the extent that 67 per cent of people in 1975 voted to remain in the Common Market on the belief it was about "trade."

Britain has lost out to the rest of the world


Dartmouth said one of the consequences of Britain joining the Common Market was to pay European prices, which are, and still are thanks to the Common Agricultural Policy, much higher than global prices. Britain has lost out to the rest of the world for a considerable period of time. But as the UKIP MEP disclosed, the UK did not need a trade deal with the Common Market then to thrive.

Yet the mainstream media chooses not to comment on the loss of Australasian trade to join the EEC.

The UK's once thriving trading relationship with many Commonwealth countries must be re-established and Brexit provides a unique opportunity to do that. Joining the Common Market was a lie and a chance for Mr. Heath to blame Britain's economic slowdown on trade instead of his shambolic policies.

Nations like Australia and New Zealand must never come second to Europe again. That is why the Government must learn from history and stop wasting time in these Brexit negotiations with an EU only interested in political unity and walk away. The UK has a whole world to rebuild damaged trading relations with and many nations want to start doing so without having to wait until 2019.