Britain and the European Community: The Politics of Semi-detachment

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The role of individual states within the European community is one of the most important and least studied areas of European politics. The contributors to this collection apply a 'domestic policy' approach to European affairs in an attempt to shed light on the bases of British policy in the European Community. They identify and pursue three major themes: the attempts of central government to act as a gatekeeper between the British political system and the EC to protect British sovereignty; the emergence of varying speeds of adaptation to membership in different sections of government and politics; and Britain's apparent 'semi-detachment' from the mainstream of European integration. Within this framework they examine the ways in which central departments of state, local government, parliament, interest groups, political parties, and public opinion all have an influence on policy.