By Helen Parr
Harold Wilson’s obvious volte-face on ecu group club within the autumn of 1966 has lengthy wondered commentators and Wilson’s colleagues alike. in line with interviews, inner most papers and lately published facts from the nationwide records, this e-book presents a clean interpretation of Wilson’s coverage in the direction of the eu Community.
Studying the advance of Britain’s coverage among 1964 whilst Harold Wilson took place of work, and 1967 whilst the French President normal de Gaulle vetoed Britain’s club software for a moment time, this ebook examines the reason behind the British approach, explaining why Wilson introduced an initiative for club while the French appeared guaranteed 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 locations British coverage in the direction of Europe in the context of its overseas coverage transition from a world to a neighborhood function.
Examining a massive occasion in Anglo-European relatives, this can be crucial interpreting for college students of post-war British background, and for these drawn to Britain’s ancient courting with Europe.
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Additional info for Britain's Policy Towards the European Community: Harold Wilson and Britain's World Role, 1964-1967
Sir Charles Johnston, head of the European Economic Organisations Department (EEOD) at the Foreign Office, wrote to the Permanent Under Secretary Sir Harold Caccia early in November to warn that de Gaulle was preparing some initiative to the EEC ‘which might take the form of withdrawing France from it, or of an empty chair policy’. 75 Three days later, Wilson met with the Guardian editor Alastair Hetherington. Wilson told Hetherington that he did not think de Gaulle’s threats to leave NATO or the EEC were purely brinkmanship.
82 However, Britain’s economic difficulties led Wilson inadvertently to damage Britain’s standing within EFTA only days into office. Having rejected devaluation, Wilson, Brown and Callaghan settled instead on a Treasury suggestion for a rise in the Bank Rate and the imposition of an import surcharge. The three ministers debated whether to impose the surcharge or to use quantitative restrictions on imports. Quantitative restrictions were legal under the regulations of the GATT and the Stockholm Treaty establishing EFTA.
De Gaulle told Wilson that Britain had offended the French, by attempting to divert the Common Market into a free trade area. When Reginald Maudling, the Conservative negotiator of the Free Trade Area talks, failed, Britain had tried to join the EEC, but had not been able to because of Commonwealth links: ‘France had gained the impression that the UK tended to bear a grudge against France for stating what was obvious’. 127 Wilson then went further in his explanation of his complicity of view with the French.
Britain's Policy Towards the European Community: Harold Wilson and Britain's World Role, 1964-1967 by Helen Parr