Conservative MP and Europhobe whose record of dissent confined him to the backbenches for most of his long parliamentary career
The former Conservative MP Sir Teddy Taylor, who has died aged 80, was not just a Eurosceptic but a Europhobe; almost a single-issue politician defined by his passionate and lifelong opposition to the European Union. Admirers warmed to his eloquent, quickfire attacks on the European project, but to others he seemed obsessive, and in 1996 he admitted: “I am the biggest Euro-bore there ever was.” Nonetheless, few doubted his courage or the sincerity of his views, which did not help his career prospects.
Having entered the House of Commons in 1964, Taylor was given a junior post in Edward Heath’s government, but resigned in 1971 when Heath applied for entry to the European Economic Community. That act set the stage for his later rebellions over contributions to the EEC budget in 1985, the Single European Act in 1986, entry to the European exchange rate mechanism in October 1990 and the Maastricht treaty during 1992-93.