New publication by Dr Melissa Pine
The second British application to join the European Community (EC) was made during Harold Wilson`s second Labour government. It ended in failure with French President Charles de Gaulle`s veto in November 1967. Harold Wilson and Europe` traces the development of Britain`s policy towards the EC from the veto to the end of Wilson`s government in June 1970. Based on detailed archival research, Melissa Pine traces Wilson`s efforts to forge stronger bonds with EC states while managing both a cabinet divided on the issue, and a complex broader foreign policy. This insight into the Wilson government reveals that Wilson`s early diplomacy was vital for the Conservatives` successful negotiation of British entry into the EC by 1973. Pine concludes that Wilson was personally committed to securing membership, and that he and key members of his government played a crucial role in securing the UK`s eventual membership of the EC.
Melissa Pine is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Plymouth.