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Distributed for Haus Publishing

The Worm in the Apple

A History of the Conservative Party and Europe from Churchill to Cameron

Distributed for Haus Publishing

The Worm in the Apple

A History of the Conservative Party and Europe from Churchill to Cameron

The first extensive history of the relationship between the UK Conservative Party and the European Union.
The Conservative Party has been in power for 47 of the 65 years since the end of World War II. During that time the division within the party over Europe has been the enduring drama of British politics—from Churchill’s decision not to join the original European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 to Cameron’s decision to hold the Brexit referendum in 2016. Other leaders came and went, but the issue was always there—sometimes center-stage, at others behind the scenes—destabilizing foreign policy, corroding the body politic, and destroying several of the party’s leaders. These questions, and how they panned out, created a deep, grumbling discontent—the worm in the apple—that, over time, turned the Conservative Party and, by extension, a significant section of the electorate, against British membership of the EU. By telling the story of the arguments and divisions within the Conservative Party, The Worm in the Apple helps to explain why Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016.

256 pages | 6 x 9

History: British and Irish History, European History

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“Tugendhat’s book is not long... and he has clearly set out to appeal to the general reader, those interested in politics rather than the political experts. In this I think he has succeeded well, with both pace and tone just right; the book is clearly authoritative but avoids being over-detailed, and in particular it avoids the trap so many politicians fall into of describing the political to and fro in such detail that only other politicians would be interested in it.”

Laburnum Consulting

“Tugendhat, a strong supporter of European unity, has written a fascinating and remarkably detached account of how Britain came to reverse that decision. His analysis of the political mistakes that made this outcome increasingly probable, beginning with the government’s failure at the outset to be frank about the implications of membership, go to the heart of the matter.”

Norman Lamont, Member of House of Lords of the United Kingdom

"The switch of Conservative Party opinion on Europe was of profound and enduring significance to the UK and the EU. At the heart of this absorbing narrative of how and why it happened is a superb insider’s account of a critical moment in the story and one of the great might-have-beens of British history if Margaret Thatcher had been treated differently by the big figures in Europe after 1979."

Peter Hennessy, author of Winds of Change: Britain in the Early Sixties

"Britain has 'left' and re-joined Europe a dozen times over the past two thousand years. The latest round has been among the bitterest. Tugendhat's survey is a masterful injection of sanity into this timeless argument."

Simon Jenkins, author of Europe’s 100 Best Cathedrals

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1. Missed Opportunities 1946–1959 3
2. Macmillan’s False Start 1959–1963 27
3. H eath’s Triumph and Tragedy 1963–1975 49
4. T he 1975 Referendum – Before and After 75
5. T hatcher’s Battles 1979–1991 93
6. T hings Fall Apart 1991–1997 119
7. T hree Leaders 1997–2005 145
8. Cameron’s Dilemmas 2005–2016 169
Conclusions 199
Notes 215
Acknowledgements 233
Index 235

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