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A Stranger in EuropeBritain and the EU from Thatcher to Blair$
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Stephen Wall

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199284559

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199284559.001.0001

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The Start of a Troubled Relationship

The Start of a Troubled Relationship

“I am not puttable offable”: Money, the Veto, and European Union

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 The Start of a Troubled Relationship
Source:
A Stranger in Europe
Author(s):

Stephen Wall

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199284559.003.0001

In 1963, General Charles de Gaulle issued his first veto of Britain's application to join the European Community (EC), the Common Market. Britain had declined to join the original six founders of the EC. In the early 1950s, it had been the British ‘functional’ versus the Continental ‘federal’ approach. It was not until January 1973 that Britain was able to join the EC. Money was a troublesome issue facing the British government in its relationship with the rest of the EC, but it was not the only one. There also was a great goal of political unification: the European Union. Subsequent arguments and negotiations split the EC, soured Margaret Thatcher's relationship with her fellow Heads of Government, and led some of them to conclude that Britain was a ‘bad European’.

Keywords:   Britain, European Community, European Union, Harold Macmillan, Margaret Thatcher, Luxembourg Compromise, Peter Walker, Gaston Thorn, international relations, foreign policy

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