The Labour Party and Europe 1950–71

  • Michael A. Wheaton
Part of the Studies in Comparative Politics book series (STCP)


On 3 October 1971 at its Annual Conference at Brighton, the Labour Party committed itself, by a predictably large majority of 5,073,000 votes to 1,032,000, to a policy of opposition to Britain’s entry into the EEC on the terms negotiated by the Conservative government. This Conference decision was the culmination of a shift in opinion in the party, which had taken place throughout the year. The opening of 1971, however, saw the Labour Party still formally committed to a policy favouring entry, provided adequate terms could be negotiated.


Trade Union Labour Government Labour Party Special Conference Trade Union Movement 
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  1. 7.
    Quoted in Ulrich Sahm, ‘Britain and Europe 1950’, International Affairs, January 1967, p. 13.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    K. Younger, ‘Comment on Sahm’s Article’, International Affairs, January 1967.Google Scholar
  3. 15.
    See R. L. Pfaltzgraff, ‘The Common Market Debate in Britain’, Orbis, Vol. 17, No. 3, Autumn, 1963 p. 293.Google Scholar
  4. 16.
    R. H. S. Crossman, British Labour Looks at Europe’, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 41, No. 4 July 1963, p. 740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 18.
    R. H. S. Crossman, op. cit., p. 736.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 21.
    For the full text of Wilson’s Bristol speech see U. W. Kitzinger, The Second Try, the Labour Party and the EEC, Pergamon Press, 1968, pp. 95–7.Google Scholar
  7. 23.
    R. H. S. Crossman, ‘The Price of Europe’, New Statesman, 12 February 1971.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Government and Opposition Ltd 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Wheaton

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