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Harold Wilson and Europe: Pursuing Britain's Membership of the European Community

Harold Wilson and Europe: Pursuing Britain's Membership of the European Community
Melissa Pine

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The second British application to join the European Communities (EC) was made during Harold Wilson's second Labour government. It ended in failure with French President Charles de Gaulle's veto in November 1967. "Harold Wilson and Europe" traces the development of Britain's policy towards the EC from the veto to the end of Wilson's government in June 1970. Based on detailed archival research, Melissa Pine traces Wilson's efforts to forge stronger bonds with EC states while managing both a cabinet divided on the issue, and a complex broader foreign policy. This fascinating insight into the Wilson government reveals Wilson's early diplomacy was vital for the Conservatives' successful negotiation of British entry into the EC by 1973. Pine concludes that Wilson was personally committed to securing membership, and that he and key members of his government played a crucial role in securing the UK's eventual membership of the EC.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: 1964- 1967
  • Approaching Europe
  • Chapter Two: November- December 1967
  • Reacting to the veto
  • Chapter Three: January- February 1968
  • New Ideas for 'skirmishes around the citadel'
  • Chapter Four: March- September 1968
  • A war of attrition
  • Chapter Five: October 1968- January 1969
  • Progress- without France?
  • Chapter Six: February- April 1969
  • The 'Soames affair' and its aftermath
  • Chapter Seven: April- December 1969
  • After de Gaulle: the veto is lifted
  • Chapter Eight: January- June 1970
  • Towards negotiations
  • Conclusions
  • Appendix: dramatis personae
  • Bibliography

Author Info

Melissa Pine is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Plymouth.

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
Series: International Library of Political Studies

ISBN: 9781845114701
Publication Date: 23 Oct 2007
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 216
Width: 134

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