Throughout the debates on EEC membership, sovereignty has been referred to by
several of the leading actors to either advance or prohibit the cause of
Britain in Europe. This chapter is therefore devoted to the history and
concept of this highly complex term. The internal and external challenges to
parliamentary sovereignty are examined, including the power of the
executive, governance, globalisation and British foreign policy. Numerous
examples of the various types of sovereignty and how these have been
utilised by MPs are included. These examples show precisely how the term can
be open to exploitation, particularly over the course of Britain’s
relationship with Europe. This chapter therefore demonstrates how this
concept has been used by members of the political elite to influence an
unaware British public.
This chapter auto-critiques the editors early work (Crozier, Practising Colonial Medicine, 2007) for studying the Colonial Medical Service as a distinct entity, founded and run on shared principles, staffed by Europeans and micro-managed from Whitehall. The collection of chapters is introduced, particularly emphasising how each essay originally contributes to revising this flawed interpretation. The Colonial Medical Service is argued as being flexibly responsive to local demands, open to negotiation and cooperation with non-governmental partners, and very much different in reality to the unified image that is often assumed. Theoretically this dramatically pushes forward understandings of the history of government medicine in Africa, not least showing scholars that history is always on the move and can be rarely compartmentalised, despite the active public relations agenda of the British colonial government.