Britain and the EU: A long and rocky relationship - BBC News
The shape of the UK's relations with the EU has been defined by its . as a direction of travel towards some form of European super state – with. Just six months ago, in confident form and not looking at all like a man who would soon be out of work, David Cameron assured an audience in. Dr Smith's work includes research into the history and politics of the European Union and the Union's relationship with the United Kingdom.
It listed among "Areas of policy in which parliamentary freedom to legislate will be affected by entry into the European Communities": Customs duties, Agriculture, Free movement of labour, services and capital, Transport, and Social Security for migrant workers.
The document concluded paragraph 26 that it was advisable to put the considerations of influence and power before those of formal sovereignty. United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum, Inthe United Kingdom held its first ever national referendum on whether the UK should remain in the European Communities.
The governing Labour Partyled by Harold Wilsonhad contested the October general election with a commitment to renegotiate Britain's terms of membership of the EC and then hold a referendum on whether to remain in the EC on the new terms.
However, there were significant divides within the ruling Labour Party; a one-day party conference voted by two to one in favour of withdrawal,  and seven of the 23 cabinet ministers were opposed to EC membership,  with Harold Wilson suspending the constitutional convention of Cabinet collective responsibility to allow those ministers to publicly campaign against the government.
On 5 Junethe electorate were asked to vote yes or no on the question: The opposition Labour Party campaigned in the general election on a commitment to withdraw from the EC without a referendum. The Labour Party subsequently changed its policy. Maastricht Treaty and Referendum party[ edit ] Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister in Novemberamid internal divisions within the Conservative Party that arose partly from her increasingly Eurosceptic views.
Britons and Europe: the survey results | Politics | The Guardian
The United Kingdom was forced to withdraw from the ERM in Septemberafter the pound sterling came under pressure from currency speculators an episode known as Black Wednesday. The Referendum Party was formed in by Sir James Goldsmith to contest the general election on a platform of providing a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.
Finally, an agreement was reached in June of There was a strong division between the Tories and the Labour Party. There was no enormous public debate at the time, and no referendum. On January 22nd the adhesion treaty was signed — it is in September that Norway voted against the ratification.
But it was not the end of an uneven relationship across the Channel. Labour was still opposing membership to the EEC. The issue was hotly debated during the general election campaign. When Harold Wilson became Prime Minister inhe announced that he would try to renegotiate a more satisfying agreement which would be submitted to referendum. Two main concerns were raised, the change of the CAP and the reduction of the British contribution to the community budget.
The Dublin agreement March provided a correcting mechanism on budgetary matters and few changes on imports from New-Zealand, but the main theme of the Labour campaign — abandoning the economic and monetary union and the European Union objective — were not even on the agenda of discussion.
The UK and the EU: more than 40 years of relationships unfolded
Wilson put the renegotiated terms of membership into referendum. He himself campaigned in favour of a continued membership and gave a long speech in the House of Commons to support it in March During the campaign the left part of Labour was against the continued membership and the right wing was in favour of it. The referendum had the positive effect of confirming public support for UK membership in the EEC, but the renegotiation did not solve the problem of the British contribution to the budget.
Margaret Thatcher and the EEC: She was strongly in favour of free-market economy and of reducing state intervention in the economy.
She also had a nationalist discourse on the UK. The Iron Lady is often referred to as being a Eurosceptic. It is partly true.
She was in favour of a certain kind of European integration, one that will enhance an open market for Europe. Indeed, the corrective mechanism did not solve the British contribution.
- Britain and the EU: A long and rocky relationship
- History of European Union–United Kingdom relations
- Britons and Europe: the survey results
It is a mechanism to balance the costs and benefits from the EEC, since the main part of the Community budget was spent on the CAP at that time and that the UK, a rich country, was contributing a lot but not benefiting much from the CAP.
Margaret Thatcher also firmed the Single European Act, which created the Single Market and extended qualified majority voting QMV in the Council thus reducing possibility of veto by one country.
Margaret Thatcher wanted European integration to create a large market without borders, and the British Commissioner Lord Cockfield, who was very close to Thatcher, was in charge of preparing the Single Market. But, to the President of the Commission, Jacques Delors, in order to achieve a Single Market, institutional reforms were needed to avoid the inefficiency of consensus.
He managed to convince Thatcher to accept the extension of the QMV and to recognise the need for the harmonisation directives in order to remove technical barriers to trade. She is the British Prime Minister who allowed Europe to move forward to more political integration and toward the Maastricht Treaty. Eurosceptic Tories and pro-European Labour? John Major agreed for an opt-out option for the single currency and social matters, but it epitomised the British isolation.
The ratification of the Maastricht Treaty was not an easy piece to go for Major, who had to have two different discourses in Brussels and in Westminster.