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Distributed for University College Dublin Press

Harold Wilson’s EEC Application

Inside the Foreign Office 1964-7

Britain’s policy towards Europe in the latter half of the twentieth century has been the subject of endless interest, scrutiny and debate. The European question has dominated foreign policy agendas from Churchill to Blair. This book seeks to further our knowledge of one of the most crucial periods for both Britain and Europe but also to enliven the debate concerning fundamental issues. Why, against a backdrop of the burgeoning 1960s, did the Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, seek to replicate the path taken by his Conservative predecessor Harold Macmillan, and make an application to join the EEC? And why was he unable to succeed? These two questions are central to this study and their answers provide invaluable insights into the formulation, execution and fate of Britain’s European policy during this period. Using newly released archival material in the National Archives and having consulted extensive interviews with many of the key political figures, Jane Toomey not only challenges old assumptions but also offers a new interpretation of Wilson’s European diplomacy

160 pages

History: British and Irish History

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Table of Contents

Introduction Wait and see Harold, George and persistent pressures No alternative circles How to get into the Common Market By little steps towards the Continent Go on - have a go! From application to veto Epilogue Notes Bibliography Index.

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