The Battle of London
A bestseller in Quebec that describes the horse-trading, intrigue and unrest behind Trudeau’s quest to repatriate the Constitution.
After the referendum in 1980, Pierre Elliott Trudeau turned his sights on repatriating the Constitution in an effort to make Canada fully independent from Britain. What should have been a simple process snowballed into a complicated intrigue.
Quebec, which thought its prerogatives would be threatened if the Constitution were repatriated, mounted a charm offensive, replete with fine dining and expensive wines in order to influence key British MPs. Not to be outdone, Canada’s native leaders, who felt betrayed by the British Crown, decided to enter the fray, determined to ensure that their cause would triumph. The English Labour Party had a view on the matter as well, which chiefly involved embarrassing Prime Minister Thatcher as thoroughly as possible.
Historian Frédéric Bastien describes with great flair how the maverick Trudeau and the uncompromising Thatcher entered into one of history’s most unlikely marriages of convenience in order to repatriate the Canadian Constitution.