By Helen Parr
Harold Wilson’s obvious volte-face on eu group club within the autumn of 1966 has lengthy questioned commentators and Wilson’s colleagues alike. in accordance with interviews, deepest papers and lately published proof from the nationwide documents, this e-book offers a clean interpretation of Wilson’s coverage in the direction of the eu Community.
Studying the advance of Britain’s coverage among 1964 while Harold Wilson took workplace, and 1967 whilst the French President normal de Gaulle vetoed Britain’s club software for a moment time, this publication examines the reason behind the British approach, explaining why Wilson introduced an initiative for club whilst the French appeared sure to impede. additionally discussing Wilson’s dealing with of the cupboard, and laying off gentle on Britain’s international relations in the direction of the Six, this paintings areas British coverage in the direction of Europe in the context of its overseas coverage transition from a world to a nearby position.
Examining an enormous occasion in Anglo-European family members, this can be crucial interpreting for college students of post-war British historical past, and for these drawn to Britain’s ancient courting with Europe.
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Extra resources for Britain's Policy Towards the European Community: Harold Wilson and Britain's World Role, 1964-1967
18 The terms of entry—safeguards for Commonwealth, for agriculture and for EFTA, as well as the freedom to plan the economy and the freedom to pursue an independent foreign policy—represented a genuine aspiration. Harold Wilson, like Gaitskell, emphasised that Britain could join the Community only on the right terms. Wilson’s political allies tended to be from the left of the party, thus, it was natural for him to assume a slightly more sceptical posture than the leader, and easier to place pressure on Gaitskell from a hostile position.
116 As had occurred regarding Britain’s policies towards EFTA, in the early days of the government, Wilson’s ideas about European technological expansion played second fiddle to the balance of payments deficit. 118 Some ministers, particularly the Minister of Aviation Roy Jenkins, argued that the cancellation of Concorde would harm British relations with France and would undermine British approaches to Europe. 119 Similarly, the British sought to reduce expenditure on the European space race—the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO)—a collaborative project involving all the Six (except Luxembourg) and Australia.
61 Influence in America could also provide tangible benefits. Wilson may have hoped that his personal bargaining skills could provide a way out of the financial dilemma of Britain’s defence. 63 The priority afforded to Britain’s global stance and to Britain’s relations with the USA also helps to explain Labour’s position in international economic affairs. 66 Wilson was mindful of the party political implications of a change in parity. 67 Such decisive action before the government’s National Plan had even been launched seemed premature.