Hopes and fears for a united Europe in Britain aft er the Second World War
Lara Feigel and Alisa Miller
culmination of the British imperialjourney in the triumph of the ‘Finest Hour’, El Alamein as the ‘Hinge of Fate’ in the Second World War, and the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ (Calder, 1992 : 270–1). The myth of a nation that ‘stood alone’ would wind its way through debates about the European community going forward.
As a result, in the early 1950s aloofness from Europe received consistent political support, despite potential rewards for direct engagement. The French diplomat Jean Monnet said later: ‘I never understood why the British did not join this, which was so much in