When the SPG was founded, the United Kingdom had made one, failed application to join what was then the Common Market. In the forty years since then the UK has struggled to develop its relationship with its European partners. ‘Common Market’ became ‘European Economic Community’ and ultimately ‘European Union’. A primarily trading and economic bloc developed its social and political aspirations generating significant political tensions in the UK. The Six expanded by stages to become the Twenty-Five. Throughout the period ‘Europe’ has been a topic of high political controversy, within and between the governing parties. It is in that context that the Westminster Parliament has sought to adapt to the major constitutional change which was effected by British accession to the Treaty of Rome and the enactment of the European Communities Act 1972 and subsequent amendments to it.
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