Britain and the EEC: Past and Present

  • F. S. Northedge
Part of the British Association for the Advancement of Science book series


Britain has been a member of the European Economic Community (EEC), or, to give it its current name, the European Community or EC, since January 1973, but has derived little satisfaction from the experience. Opinion polls conducted by the EEC Commission have shown that opponents of British membership of the Community in Britain have for several years outnumbered supporters two to one, the same proportion as that by which supporters outnumbered opponents in the referendum on the issue conducted in this country in June 1975. One of the two traditional British political parties, the Labour Party, was committed by a vote of 6 213 000 to 782 000 at its last Annual Conference to taking Britain out of the Community.1 The recent Falkland Islands crisis served as a temptation to many British people, including leader writers of The Times, to entertain ideas that the country might serve its interests better by relaxing continental commitments and turning once more to the ‘silver sea’.2


Foreign Policy European Economic Community Labour Party British People European Free Trade Association 
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  1. 2.
    Leading article, ‘Strategy in a Silver Sea’, The Times, 21 June 1982.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    W. S. L. Churchill, The Second World War, vol II (London: 1949 ) p. 183.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    Anthony Nutting, Europe Will Not Wait ( London: Hollis and Carter, 1960 ) p. 65.Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    W. S. L. Churchill, Europe Unite. Speeches, 1947–1948, ed. by Randolph S. Churchill (London: 1950 ) pp. 409–24.Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    Harold Macmillan, Pointing the Way, 1959–1961 ( London: Macmillan, 1972 ) p. 156.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    See David Nunnerley, President Kennedy and Britain ( London: Bodley Head, 1972 ).Google Scholar

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© The British Association for the Advancement of Science 1983

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  • F. S. Northedge

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