Britain's Failure to Enter the European Community 1961-63: The Enlargement Negotiations and Crises in European, Atlantic and Commonwealth Relations

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Recently-released archival material has given historians the opportunity to re-examine the impact of the initial British application to join the European Community on the development of the EC, and on the role of Britain and its European neighbours in broader world politics. The dramatic end to the British application was a devastating blow to many Europeans and Americans who hoped that the EC would be strengthened by the inclusion of the UK. The essays collected here outline a number of factors which made the EC too young to be able to assimilate Britain's important interests, and the British over-optimistic in their approach to negotiations with the Community. The role of conflict over Western strategy and European political union in the breakdown of the negotiations is re-assessed, and the negotiations over agriculture and the Commonwealth are revealed in an entirely new light.