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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 Single European Act and Economic and Monetary Union

The Single European Act and Economic and Monetary Union

Chapter:
(p.62) 4 The Single European Act and Economic and Monetary Union
Source:
A Stranger in Europe
Author(s):

Stephen Wall

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199284559.003.0004

Two months before what Margaret Thatcher saw as the Milan ambush, the British Foreign Office had sent her a paper about the implications of Spanish and Portuguese accession to the European Community. The dramatic economic impact of enlargement was only partly foreseen. The paper noted that the reasons which had led the existing member states to support the accession of Portugal and Spain were almost entirely political. The Community was likely to develop its own ‘north/south’ divide. The Foreign Office foresaw the emergence of core groupings — more probably as a series of concentric circles than as a single cohesive group. Pressure for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), untouched by the Single European Act, remained a big British preoccupation. Once again, the European budget was bumping up against the ceiling, so Britain had leverage to secure CAP reform.

Keywords:   European Community, Margaret Thatcher, Single European Act, Economic and Monetary Union, Britain, Portugal, Spain, Common Agricultural Policy, international relations, foreign policy

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