• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

During 1990 to 2007 there was a split between the governments of John Major and Tony Blair over the issue of Europe because of Thatchers legacy as she strongly opposed further integration into Europe.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Controversy over the involvement with the EU was not based on the principle of membership; the real quarrel was about further integration'. How valid is this assessment of the reasons why Britain's relations with Europe were so contentious in the years 1990-2007 During 1990 to 2007 there was a split between the governments of John Major and Tony Blair over the issue of Europe because of Thatcher's legacy as she strongly opposed further integration into Europe. Major knew he had to pacify the powerful euro-sceptics within his party, including Thatcher, signing the Maastricht treaty; he didn't fully integrate, placing opt-outs on the treaty for Britain. Nonetheless he wanted Britain to be at the "heart of Europe", sacrificing party unity for integration into Europe by ratifying the Maastricht treaty in 1992. On the other hand, Tony Blair from 1997 made sure Britain wasn't "isolated or left behind" and played a prominent role in European affairs, taking lead roles in negotiations and genuinely wanted Britain integrated into the EU, seeing himself as the future leader. Despite Tony Blair's enthusiasm, Euro-sceptics believe Britain would benefit from being outside of Europe and cement ties with the Commonwealth and America, this ...read more.

Middle

In contrast to Thatcher, Major was more pro-European and believed Britain would suffer if it were to remain isolated from the EU but major had to play a delicate game as to not anger the Euro-sceptics as it would of fractured the party. Nevertheless, Major remained committed to Europe even after the ERM crisis in 1992 which destroyed Major's political credibility and the Conservative's reputation for a good economic management. Furthermore, Major's attempts at moving Britain closer to Europe would be more controversial as the public became more sceptical about integration while the position of the Euro-sceptics within the party strengthened. After the crisis the Euro-sceptics saw their opportunity to pull Britain out of Europe with the ratification of the Maastricht treaty in 1993. However, Major was determined to integrate Britain further into Europe, despite the fact it would shatter party unity. By passing the treaty through the House of Commons using a vote of confidence the Euro-sceptics had no choice but to vote for the Maastricht treaty otherwise it would have brought down the government. Major's actions had shown that he wants Britain further integrated into Europe despite hostility from his party which was the ultimate downfall to the party. ...read more.

Conclusion

Blair knew he had to disguise the process of integration into Europe, otherwise the same situation that split Major's government would happen to Blair's and the third way successfully appeased the Euro-sceptics. The issue of further integration was so controversial that the only way to get Britain further into Europe was to mask the process, as seen with the ratification of the Maastricht treaty and Blair's third way speech. Nevertheless, Blair wasn't fully able to integrate Britain fully, as his vision of replacing the pound sterling with the Euro was blocked by Gordon Brown who denounced Blair's plans, highlighting that Blair's aims of European integration would never succeed as long as the Euro-sceptics held powerful positions. British relations with Europe were so contentious because from 1951 the British public have been told different theories as to why Britain needs Europe. Churchill said Britain doesn't need Europe because of the many colonies and strong economy. But after the decline of the economy, Macmillan told the public Europe is needed in order to revive the economy. Events such as De Gaulle vetoing and Black Wednesday have shrouded the public's positive attitude towards Europe and there is only a small minority of Pro-Europeans in Britain who accept the whole principle. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. An unmitigated disaster. How valid is this assessment of Oliver Cromwells experiment with the ...

    James Heath, and Edward Hyde, the Tories Laurence Echard and David Hume, and the republicans, Edmund Ludlow and Catherine Macaulay. The dominant theme in the work of all these writers was the powers enjoyed by the Major Generals were vast, alien and arbitrary in nature.

  2. Warner Bros.' GoodFellas (1990) is director Martin Scorsese's stylistic masterpiece - a follow-up film ...

    criminal lifestyle: As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. To me, being a gangster was better than being President of the United States. ["Rags to Riches," performed by Tony Bennett.] The young Henry Hill (Christopher Serrone), a teenager in an impoverished Brooklyn neighborhood

  1. Henry II (1154 - 1189) is generally seen as the main catalyst in the ...

    Beckett could lose either limbs or his life once the courts pronounced him guilty of 'feudal disobedience'.73 Understandably "the second article of the sixteenth article of the 'Assizes of Clarendon 1166',74 � Beckett fled to Grantham in the middle of the night before going into voluntary exile in Normandy on 2nd November 1164".

  2. Assess the reasons why Thatchers economic policies were controversial.

    This was following the ideology of economist Freidrich Hayek. There were several methods that she persued which included privatisation of the national industries. Companies such as British Petroleum, British Telecoms, and Cable & Wireless were privatised, and this not only reduced government intervention, but also raised large amounts of capital for spending in other areas.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work