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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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A Stranger in Europe

A Stranger in Europe

Chapter:
(p.204) 10 A Stranger in Europe
Source:
A Stranger in Europe
Author(s):

Stephen Wall

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199284559.003.0010

Throughout the years of Britain's European Community membership, successive governments have found themselves making an essentially negative case in favour of British membership. Britain, within the limitations of its constitutional view, has been a European pioneer in its advocacy of reform: the single market, the Common Agricultural Policy, and broader economic reform. It has also been a leader in developing European foreign policy and defence in practical ways. Having been the ‘dirty man’ of Europe in the 1980s, it is now one of the leaders in promoting European policy on energy and climate change. It is not just illusion that has made Britain conduct itself in the European Union in the ways this book describes, though illusion played its part. Illusion has no part to play if, having been a stranger in Europe for the last fifty years, Britain is to safeguard and advance a precious heritage to which awkwardly, anxiously but doggedly it has already contributed so much.

Keywords:   Britain, European Community, European Union, foreign policy, international relations, Common Agricultural Policy, Europe, single market, economic reform

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