Bill Jones
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The European Union and British politics
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It is no secret that the British have not taken too warmly to Europe, since we joined the European Community in 1972. This chapter sketches the major changes the European Community membership has had for Britain and for its politics. It presents the historical, geographical and cultural factors contributing to the separateness of Britain. After the end of World War II, there was a need for the continental European countries to recover economically and contain the external threats; the Marshall Plan and the NATO provided the answers. The chapter briefly describes the British applications to join the European Community, and provides information on the various European institutions such as the European Commission, European Council, and the European Parliament. It also discusses the three pillars of cooperation: economic, foreign affairs and security, and justice and home affairs. The chapter also examines the reform process initiated by the 2007 Lisbon Treaty.

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British politics today

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