background preloader

Britain and the EU

Facebook Twitter

Timeline: history of the European Union. Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister, proposes that France, Germany and any other European country wishing to join pool coal and steel resources. Treaty of Paris signed by the Six (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands), establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Treaties of Rome establish the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).

First session of the European Parliamentary Assembly held in Strasbourg, France. Robert Schuman is elected President of the Assembly. July, seven countries of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) – Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK – decide to establish a European Free Trade Association (EFTA). UK applies to join the Community. The Parliamentary Assembly changes its name to the European Parliament. General de Gaulle declares that France doubts the political will of the UK to join the Community. European Union website, the official EU website. Profile: European Union. The European Union, or EU, describes itself as a family of democratic European countries, committed to working together for peace and prosperity. The organisation oversees co-operation among its members in diverse areas, including trade, the environment, transport and employment.

On 1 May 2004 the EU took in 10 new members, most of them former communist countries, in a huge step along the road towards dismantling the post-World War II division of Europe. The new joiners were the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. However, plans to introduce a constitution - intended to ensure the smooth running of the enlarged EU - faltered repeatedly at various national referendums until the revised "Lisbon" reform treaty was adopted. History French statesmen Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman are regarded as the architects of the principle that the best way to start the European bonding process was by developing economic ties.

Monetary travails. Inside Europe. European Union. Britain's 40 year relationship with the EU. Britain and the EU: A long and rocky relationship. Image copyright Thinkstock The United Kingdom's relationship with the EU - or, in political parlance, "Europe" - has long been one of the most divisive, emotive issues in British politics. Now it is centre stage again, and the debates between Eurosceptic Nigel Farage and Europhile Nick Clegg bring the argument down to a stark, binary choice not seriously faced in decades - In, or Out. But why does Europe produce such a polarised reaction? Many Britons, on both sides of the debate, love visiting European countries and idolise elements of their culture - not least the food. But Europeans viewing British newspaper coverage, political debates or opinion polls would be forgiven for thinking we have little but contempt for our neighbours.

The weight of history Image copyright Getty Images Maybe it is the long history of hostilities that clouds the British view of Europe with suspicion. But for many historians the most enduring influence on Britain's self-image is World War Two. An end to war. Europe’s elections: The Eurosceptic Union. FOR once, Europe’s leaders seemed to agree: the European Union must change, and fast. After the European elections on May 22nd-25th, which saw the strong rise of radical parties of both the left and the right, the union had to do more to promote growth and jobs, and to become more relevant to citizens. Such was the message issued by François Hollande, the French president, and David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, both humiliated after their parties were trounced into third place by anti-EU parties of the right. The call was also echoed by Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, who was boosted by the success of his Democratic Party in seeing off the challenge of the Five Star Movement.

“We must change Europe to save it,” he declared. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, was quick to agree, even though she once more confirmed her talent for winning elections. What will Europe’s leaders do to quell voters’ ugly mood? The global repercussions may be more worrying. Thatcher and her tussles with Europe. Margaret Thatcher's tussles over Europe and the UK's role in what is now the European Union were among the defining moments of her premiership.

She passionately fought and won a number of battles against what she saw as the excessive powers of Brussels. Europe also ultimately brought about Mrs Thatcher's downfall as prime minister, as her increasingly anti-EU views led the pro-Europeans in her party to move to oust her. Yet Margaret Thatcher had not always been so vehemently opposed to European-wide initiatives. In 1975, for instance, she played a key role in campaigning for the UK to remain in the European Community. And in 1978 she was arguing for consideration of a common European approach to defence. She had also criticised the then Labour government for failing to sign up to the exchange-rate mechanism (ERM). VAT battle Once in government, however, her patience with her colleagues on the continent quickly began to fray. In 1988 there came the controversial "Bruges speech". 'No. "No. UK Independence Party - UKIP. Eurosceptic Conservative MPs demand major concessions when David Cameron renegotiates Britain's EU membership - General Election 2015 - UK Politics - The Independent.

The Europhobes admit the Prime Minister’s unexpected triumph has strengthened his position in the party, and insist there will be no repeat of the rebellions over Europe which destabilised John Major’s government in the 1990s. However, they are already raising the bar high on a new EU deal and warning that they will campaign to leave the 28-nation bloc in the 2017 referendum if he secures only cosmetic changes. One Eurosceptic MP said: “He has won a breathing space and he must be allowed to get on with it [the EU talks]. But we have also won new muscle because he will need our votes in the Commons.” Mr Cameron could usually ignore his hardline critics under the Coalition because the Liberal Democrats gave him an overall majority of more than 70. But with his majority down to 12, a rebellion by a small number of Tories could defeat him. David Davis, a Eurosceptic who was a Government whip during the Major era, believed there would not be a repeat of the revolts in the 1990s. 1 of 8.

Brexit – what would happen if Britain left the EU? | Politics. David Cameron’s electoral triumph has brought the prospect of a British withdrawal from the EU one step closer. The prime minister has vowed to reshape Britain’s ties with Europe before putting EU membership to a vote by 2017. But what would “Brexit” - a British exit from the 28-nation EU - look like? Eurosceptics argue that withdrawal would reverse immigration, save the taxpayer billions and free Britain from an economic burden. Europhiles counter that it would lead to deep economic uncertainty and cost thousands, possibly even millions, of jobs. Our writers have drawn on the best available expertise to assess what Brexit would mean for growth, jobs, trade, immigration and Britain’s position in the world. Starting with the estimates that leaving would be a net loss to the UK economy, one analysis often cited is from researchers at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in 2004.

Overall, the authors state: But a large dose of caution is needed. He concluded: Katie Allen.