Past Debates

Debates at the Oxford Union have left their mark on the world, their outcomes resonating far beyond the University. In 1933, the Union passed its famous motion, "This House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country", causing a maelstrom of political and public ire; indeed, Winston Churchill called it, "that abject, squalid, shameless avowal”.

In 1975, the passage of the motion, “This House would say yes to Europe” with 493 ayes to 92 noes reportedly had a considerable influence on the national referendum concerning the UK’ s membership of the EEC, given that the debate was held and televised only a few days before the referendum.

To this day, the Union remains the principal forum for national and international debate, and here are some excerpts for you to peruse: