Get Britain Out
The group was set up in 1961 in response to the failed attempt by Britain to enter the European Economic Community the previous year. Led by John Paul and Michael Shay, the group was initially restricted to Conservative Party members. Its President Victor Montagu courted controversy when he claimed that the British did not want to be led by "a bunch of frogs and huns", although the ACML soon distanced itself from xenophobia, whilst also opening membership to anyone regardless of their political party affiliation.
Under the chairmanship of Sir Robin Williams (1969 to 1984) the group became a constituent member of the National Referendum Campaign, an umbrella movement associated with The Spectator that included such disparate groups as the British League of Rights, Ron Leighton's Get Britain Out, the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and the United Ulster Unionist Party as well as leading politicians such as Barbara Castle, Michael Foot and Enoch Powell. Following the demise of this broad coalition the ACML continued to operate, being particularly vocal in its criticism of the Common Agricultural Policy and moves towards devolution, whilst campaigning for free trade with the world as a whole rather than just the European Union. Under the chairmanship of Peter Dul and Presidency of Richard Body the group has worked closely with the Anti-Maastricht Alliance and the Campaign for an Independent Britain The ACML is now affiliated to the latter organisation and appoints two members to its National Committee.
- Peter Barberis, John McHugh, Mike Tyldesley, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations, 2002, p. 129
- Peter Barberis, John McHugh, Mike Tyldesley, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations, 2002, p. 137
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