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A higher loyalty

This book argues that the current problems over Britain’s membership of the European Union are largely as a result of the absence of quality debates during the 1959–84 period. The situation today is also attributed to members of the political elite subordinating the question of Britain’s future in Europe to short-term, pragmatic, party management or career considerations. A particular and original interpretation of Britain and Europe is advanced, aided by recently discovered evidence. This includes the methods used by the Conservative government to ensure it won the vote following the 1971 parliamentary debate on Britain’s proposed entry into the EEC. It also delves into the motives of the sixty-nine rebel Labour MPs that voted against their own party on EEC membership, and how the British public were largely misled by political leaders in respect of the true aims of the European project. This is a study of a seminal period in Britain’s relationship with Europe. Starting from the British government’s early attempts at EEC membership, and concluding with the year both major political parties accepted Britain’s place in Europe, this book examines decision-making in Britain. As such, it contributes to a greater understanding of British politics. It answers a number of key questions and casts light on the current toxic dilemma on the issue of Europe.

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Robert Lister Nicholls

well as their endemic tribal loyalty, were affected by short-term considerations. It was only during the premiership of Margaret Thatcher that the realities of European political integration dawned on many Conservatives. The Conservatives’ position on Europe was therefore determined by a combination of factors. Under Macmillan, the party reluctantly made a belated attempt at joining the Common Market largely as a result of pressure from British and US business, the US government and the Foreign Office. Therefore, whilst there were some MPs committed to Europe, it

in The British political elite and Europe, 1959–1984
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Robert Lister Nicholls

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 MPs of both major parties, short-term considerations were of greater importance. There is evidence that party management was of greater concern for Wilson and Callaghan than a genuine commitment to European membership. An analysis of the trajectories in Chapter 8 also provides evidence

in The British political elite and Europe, 1959–1984
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Robert Lister Nicholls

is inextricably linked with party and political gamesmanship, with parties and individual members of the political elite taking positions based on short-term considerations. Recently released material serves to substantiate these key arguments. For example, at the time of his acceptance of Jean Monnet's 1968 invitation for the Labour Party to join the Action Committee for the United States of Europe, Prime Minister Harold Wilson was simultaneously arguing against a federal Europe. A further example is in respect of the 1970 general election. Despite evidence of an

in The British political elite and Europe, 1959–1984
Martin Thomas

regarded as a vital means to convince the British of the region’s value to the Allied war effort, while adding to the coffers of the French National Committee. The Free French thus placed additional AEF export capacity above any short-term consideration of political reform. For its part, the British government was slow to reward AEF’s export contribution by supplying the Gaullist

in The French empire at war 1940–45
The case of New Labour
Craig Berry

for Blair non-economic dimensions of globalisation were important insofar as they related to the operation of the global economy. They were a part of globalisation, but they were only fully recognised in relation to the economy. Blair also referred endlessly to ‘the long term’. In 1998, he stated that ‘[w]e are in this for the long term. For the first time in years, Britain has a government with a long-term vision, taking the hard decisions necessary’, adding that ‘we will not be deflected by short-term considerations ... we are the real long-termists now.’ On the

in Globalisation and ideology in Britain
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A. J. Coates

be the negative one of preventing an unacceptable level of conflict . . . Frequently the only possibility open may be the very humble and unexciting one of reducing hostility and violence’ (Macquarrie 1973, p. 30). This complex notion of peace points to a dual strategy: one focusing on the more immediate need to bring present conflicts to a close, the other searching for more enduring solutions to the problem of war. In genuine peacemaking the two should go together; but, under the pressures of war, short-­term considerations are often allowed to undermine the

in The ethics of war
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Philip Begley

that Labour was now making the running was crucial. Individuals and ideology played an important role, but changes were primarily a response to political events. Short-term considerations, whether political opportunism or a desire to defeat the government, were often significant. There were also a number of threads running throughout the period which helped to shape party thinking. The preservation of the Union was predominant amongst these, and this instinct could be adapted according to circumstances. At the beginning of the period, when in government or new to

in The making of Thatcherism
John Wilson

profits were four times the rate by the 1980s (see Appendix A). While it is also apparent from Table 1.2 that the sound state of the company’s finances provided the funds for this distribution policy, one cannot avoid the conclusion that, like much of British business, the firm was at least partially subjugated to the short-term considerations of City financial institutions. Overall, though, the board was capable of achieving a balance between serving City requirements and developing the business. Derek Alun-Jones and Charles Scott especially reject the notion that

in Ferranti: A History
Rhiannon Vickers

relationship does not mean special privileges’.16 Heath was the only post-war Prime Minister who did not see the Anglo-American relationship as the bedrock of British foreign and security policy. The Foreign Affairs article also raised an issue he returned to at length in 1970, namely that British foreign policy was being made on the basis of short-term considerations, and lacked a coherent theme; he proposed that British foreign policy should be ‘based on a realistic assessment of British interests’.17 He reiterated this during the 1970 general election, arguing that the

in The Labour Party and the world