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

Britain is said to have "missed the boat" when considering European Affairs in 1970. To what extent is this the case?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Britain is said to have "missed the boat" when considering European Affairs in 1970. To what extent is this the case? Britain can definitely be said to have "missed the boat" in European affairs because when it eventually did join the EC the situation was far from perfect. There was a mounting oil crisis, which had increased the price of oil by 400%, producing a recession and slowing down economic growth. Britain thought that by joining they would share in the economic growth they had seen in the 1960s, only to find in the 1970s that growth had slumped. Without the economic growth the less attractive aspects of EC membership, such as The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), began to rear their head and arguments in favour of British membership was harder to withhold. Britain found that if joined straight away it would be one of the leading powers of the EC and therefore be able to be key in important decisions and be able to benefit them. ...read more.

Middle

However it was in 1965 the EEC, the ECSC and Euratom were brought together when the members signed the Merger Treaty, which established a single Commission and a single Council for the three communities. In the early 1960s the French president, Charles de Gaulle, sought to establish a French hegemony over the institutions of the Communities by fully exploiting the Council of Ministers. Britain signed an agreement setting up the European Free Trade Area in Stockholm during November 1959, and it came into force in April 1960. This was the competitor to the EEC. Britain claimed to admire the "economic and commercial freedom" of EFTA as against the "political straitjacket" of the EEC. Within a year the PM was to change his mind and apply for British membership of the EEC. Reasons for this were ones such as the Suez affair in 1956. It changed the attitude of the British government and led them to realise that her days as a world power were over. ...read more.

Conclusion

In December 1962 de Gaulle told Macmillan that he intended to veto Britain's application unless Britain broke with the American alliance. Macmillan did the opposite by having a meeting with President Kennedy, which resulted in the Nassau Agreement where Britain's stake in NATO's nuclear programme was increased. Instead of adopting the position of humble supplicant in applying to join the Communities, Britain gave the impression of doing Europe a favour by the application. It is a classic act of British arrogance, striking through the community even today. However in 1969 de Gaulle resigned due to members of the EC not liking the way he did things without consultation. Within the year, the new French president, George Pompidou, had met the new British PM, Ted Heath, and dropped the hint that France would no longer oppose British membership. Britain finally signed the Treaty of Accession in Brussels in 1972. The EEC finally conceded to Britain joining it, but at what cost, what had Britain missed out on. By "missing the European Community boat" it had firmly established itself as a lesser influence; forever? Well to date! ...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 European Union 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 European Union essays

  1. Why did Britain join the EEC in 1973 and not in 1957?

    The failure to join at this point was because Britain was accused of not being European enough. By insisting on conditions on Britain's membership proved that Britain did not have the compatibility needed to join without changing the Community already formed.

  2. Explain why Britain did not join either the ECSC or the EEC in the ...

    And in the same time the six decided to accelerate their reductions in internal custom duties , which threatened more sever damage to British exports. As Britain examined the situation it was doubtful that a "bridge" between the six and the EFTA was possible.

  1. Transformation of the U.S. Hegemony in Europe through NATO after the Cold War

    existence in the continent. Through the end of the Cold War, changes can be observed in the behaviors of European Community members for common foreign and defense arrangements. European Political Cooperation (EPC), launched informally in 1970 was formally enshrined in the Single European Act (SEA)

  2. Why was the accession of the UK to the EEC in 1972 so politically ...

    The results of the referendum were not controversial however, and came out 2:1 in favour of membership with a 64% turnout (Watts. 2005, p30). Despite the '75 referendum result, eurosceptic fears that Britain was moving towards joining a supranational power would remain right up until today.

  1. Disneyland Resort Paris, Case Study

    Make further physical adjustments to overcome the climatic differences. * Having the queuing areas properly roofed and heated. * Offering more indoor alternatives for the rainy/ snowy days. * Providing more resting/"refreshing" areas for the very hot summer days (as it was the case of the heat-wave in 2004) II. Offer promotions that better fit European travel patterns. i.e.

  2. An examination of British policy with regard to European Unity during the period 1945 ...

    British policy was stern; "Europe must unite or perish" (Attlee, date in Shlaim, 1978). Thus it is evident that for Britain "union was fundamentally a Cold War concept" (Croft, 1988: 619). Only in unity could Western Europe "stem the further encroachment of a soviet tide" (Croft, 1988: 620)

  1. The French Revolution

    They were opposed to the tyranny of the monarchy and they disagreed with the feudal system in France that caused there to be massive poverty and inequality for the lower classes. Another very strong supporter of the revolution was Tom Paine.

  2. Free essay

    Has British Politics been Europeanised

    This integration has become stronger since the movement towards a single market in the 1980s. Next the market for labour, this is an aspect of discussion which illustrates both the positive and negative influence of the EU on both British politics and its legal system.

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