The conclusion summarises and explains the findings of the research for this
book and reflects briefly on the inter-relationships between the period
analysed and the continuing European debate. It is clear that during the
period which included two unsuccessful and one successful application, the
long-term implications of membership did not weigh heavily with many members
of the political elite. The evidence suggests that for many members of both
major political parties, short-term considerations were of greater
importance. There is evidence, for example, that party management was of
greater concern for Wilson and Callaghan than a genuine commitment to EEC
membership. The findings also show that the short-term nature of the debate
stored up future problems for political parties and their leaderships, which
ultimately led to Britain voting to leave the European Union.
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.