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Evans 2nd  World War and EC

Germany took over France.

Britain thought French was their allie and proposed to unite with France, but it was turned down.

1941 USA and USSR joined. Britain tried to make allies with them.

Europe was dif\vided by two non european countries.

People tried to estabilish a settlemen that could keep the peace unlike the settlement after  1st World War. United Nations was proposed. Churcil was sceptical about the Britain leadership in UN, because  it had empire etc. Churcil was  prepared to see a loose cooperative body - councel of europe. Europe could be a third greaat power between Russia  and USA. Britain would be leading united europe.

But Britain had severall problem:

1.   economy was ruined.

2.   problem with empire, india independence.

3.   labour government came to power. They nationalised industries and wanted to crete a welfare state.

4.   cold war and crises. Germanys problem. How to control Germany.


Europe was not that important to Britain. USA was the closest to England because a protection from cold war. "Special relationship" USA gave information about nuclear power to UK. UK was a bit reluctant to deal with Europe because thought USA would not like it. But it actuallydid like the strengthening of Europe to protect it from communism. Marshal aid plan.

France started to develop and started to cooperate with UK and USA against Russia.

So UK was not too keen in efforts to strengthen its power in Europe, but she was also reluctant to get involved with any united europe.

So at  the end only a council of europe was formed that was only a consultative body.

UK interest was to develop the world trade.

People had also an idea of locking Germany into strong united europe. Britain did not become very interesting. They were involved in NATO already. Pound was tied to dollar because of pound devaluations.

6 european powers all agree that a closer association with firm economic purposes and also political. Supranational element was tolerable. It takes mosto of the 1950s to come into existence. Starts with local unions (coal). Britain was left out. Economic contracts were much easier to establish. But to create a common army was more controverial, would have  been against Germany. French threw the plan out, basically because of the fear that the system was uncontrallable when it broke down. People wanted to move further economically.

Treaty was signed in 1957 about european community. Britain kept wondering around. They were keen on britain own agreeement, especially they wanted free trade area, not customs union.

1958 Union comes into existence. Although some people said Britain had much wider workd interest, some started to say that European Union was an economic threat. European free trade area was formed. UK is the biggest member. It was free trade. Foodstuff was not coveredby EFTA. This was not going to be a main economic block.

Failure to join EC:

1.      Britain was a special relation to USA

2.      UK had already ties with Commonwealth tha could be destroyed

3.      Commitments to EFTA.

4.      Special relations in trading and aggriculture

5.      Very strong british desire of supranational institutions. They dislike any proposal to give government authority to any agency

In 1960s UK changed:

1.      Special relation with USA failed

2.      Commonewealth means less than it did. Trade declined and political relationship declined

3.      UK econonmic position declined. BoP worsened.

By the end of 1950s prime minister said there is no alternative of joining the EC. But they still wanted to become leaders of EC.

Difficulties that had to be negotiated

1.      commonwealth (protection of commonwealth interest. Also to cool down French that thought the commonwealth was a rival organisation).

2.      protection of the members of free trade association

3.      aggriculture (Britain wanted to have a cheap food)


Extremely detailed talks. Quite easy were. Difficulty was that the EC was not united towards UK joining europe. 5 agreed. France was against, because Brittain was closely related to the USA in defence(nuclear power).

Application goes in 1961.

French stopped the talks and Britain did not get in.

Labour added:

1.   independent national economic planning needed

2.   Sterling strength

Labour is not united and had a rather complicated view of european community. They thought the EU to be a capitalist organisation, but Labour was socialist. Complete economic union mustbe avoided because it would demand to uniformintranational economic policies. They did not want majority voting and thought that EU will have a capitalist majority anyway.

Wilson (conservative)came in power and we have a new situation in 1964.

Luxembourg compromise - a nation could veto decisions of vital national importance.

Labour to power again and was in principle prepared to join the market. The application was again rejected, but Britain left the application in. Then France president stood down, and France was prepared to compromise.

Heath came to power and was prepared to act like an European. He was not too keen on special relationship. Greatest complain was the financial contribution. Britain had to give away all proceeds from extraeuropean trade tarif and its aggriculture was small.

Labour was against and wanted a referendum. Conservatives won.

Treaty was signed in 1972. It went to public refferendum.


It was won.

Government decided not to whip, anyone could vote what they wanted. Pressure groups were formed. Lobby for staying in was much stronger, because they had more money and party leaders supported staying in.

Against EC

1.   Loss of sovereignity

2.   Higher prices inside EC

3.   Economic benefits would be unequally distributed. Some would suffer as they were farther from european centres.

For EC

1.      Economy stimulated

2.      Supernational frase not to be taken too strongly

3.      Simply no alternative

Strong majority (67%) accepted these.

Brittain did not take a leading role in the market. Evidence of benefits to Britain was contradictionary. Food prices were rising, UK was second largest contributor.

Britain wanted

1.      reform of CAP

2.      Against an increase in the central powers

3.      Supported expanding membership

4.      Supported free trade

Britain refused to join the monetary union in 79 (exchang rate meechanism), but did join the ECU. Most believed that EC membership was preferable, but they were unenthusiastic. Conservatives in 79 supported EC. Thatcher was a friend with Reagan and thus took a

strongly national view in EC.

1.      Budgetary contribution was first proiroty.

2.      Cooperation on foreign policy and defence

3.      Enlargement

She conducted an undiplomatic policy to "get back my money".

Negotiation was going on for quite a long. Meanwhile fisheries policy was accepted, Falklands islands were captured. European partners remained solidaire.

1983 declaration of EU is signed. European Parliament passes a dreft Act supporting a more stronger political institutions. New members were accepted, but they were supporting stronger links to escape their past. Thatcher supports free trade, especially in services.

Notion of the two tier Europe emerges - some countries might move quicker. Britain got a rebate 2/3 of the difference between VAT contributions and receipt. CAP was reformed. Thatcher now supported a full common market - no non-trade barriers. But adding to the power of Commision and Parliament was not supported.

1986 Single Market was signed ot come to an effect at the beginning of 1993

Britain went along as wanted to atract inward investment.

Britain gave away something, but nothing essential. Some powers were extended. Regional councils were formed. Also mediterian countries got much more benefits.

Deloir was a head of commision. he was socialist, Thatcher dislike him. He produced an unacceptable Social Chapter.

The other unacceptable policy was to achive EMU. Deloir said ther must be three stages.

1.      Increased cordination of ERM - degree of convergence

2.      Estabilishment of an independent European central bank

3.      Single european currency

European central bank was feared to be a cover for the German Central bank. Mrs Thatcher is hostile. But British government is not united in this process. Thatcher was forced to go ahead with stage one, because the two principle ministers both insisted that she joined in and threated resignation. She discovered that Lawson had been shadowing the deutch mark for quite a long time. Major succeeds Lawson and takes Britain to the ERM, unfortunately with too high rate.

Briatin was the only one to vote against EU. She resigns and says that the EU represents a threat to Britain. EP will takes power away from the House of Commons.

1992 Threaty of Mastricht

Seeking an evercloser union. Major becomes the Prime Minister.

Quality majority voting was adopted. Finland etc. were bought in and raised the blocking vote. Britain unsure about finding the majority of allies in order to block.

Maastricht treaty was rejected in Demark, Britain got concessions and accepted without referendum.

Major (Ker Ann notes)

-the Mastricht question - moving towards the European Monetary Union within a limited time scheule

1.         Move twoards central bank and single currency by 1999

2.      social chapter- regul., guarantees to workers social benefits

Uk unenthusiastic towards both. But others were towards it. UK opted out, but it can get into it whenever it wants.

Anounced hostility in country. UK considered a consistent blockage. But not just UK, Denmark had their own referendum as well. Ireland, the biggest receiver of benefit had also  referendum.

UK no referendum as Crown and parliament do not need substitution. But they had a parliamentary debate.

Votes eventually suported the mastricht treaty, but opt out from anti-federalist, and no supernationalism

Wanted further enlargement of unioin


1.      Liberals - Sympathetic, first party that supported EU in 1973

2.      Labour - sympathetic now. They do not want to get into a union that would prohibit them to carry out social policies. Now EU is a common mkt, capitalist organisation, very left do not like. Harold Wilson took a practical viewpoint - union only if beneficial.He concluded the membership was good and leads the opposition party against Heath after he lost for Heath, who fight for membership. But some resisted the party whip and voted for union

1979 labour government ended in grief and changed their policy. Greater awarness of social implications

1988 Delor addressed TU congress succesfully, for right of workers

Some MPs still opposed, but most supporters New Labour, Tony Blair

3.      Scotish National - started as unsymathetic, now see EU as a framework for Scotish and Wales autonomy

4.      Conservatives

After new labour became suspicious

Thatcher not entusiast, wanted better terms, Hostile against EMU and single currency.

They feared the drainage of power, getting Europhobic

Wanted to stop further progress

Electors do not have europea as their first priority

Danger of party split

Govn in difficult sitation as no doubt they should join

Argument now reversed

1.      fear the loss of sovereignity, if join EU

2.      power to Germany

3.      parliament can lose control

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