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date: 29 September 2023

p. 30513. A Special Case

The United Kingdom and the European Unionlocked

p. 30513. A Special Case

The United Kingdom and the European Unionlocked

  • Desmond Dinan


This chapter examines the United Kingdom's troubled relationship with the movement for European integration and with the European Union more generally. Citing speeches made by leading British politicians over the last seventy years, including Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, Margaret Thatcher, and David Cameron, the chapter outlines four distinct stages of British association with the EU: a period of detachment in the early years; involvement in a lengthy accession process and renegotiation of membership terms; engagement in effort to reform the budget and launch the single market programme; and growing disillusionment as the EU strengthened along supranational lines and extended its policy remit, notably by embracing the economic and monetary union (EMU). These periods cover a range of important developments, such as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), the EMU, and the Single European Act.

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