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Harold Wilson, Denmark and the Making of Labour European Policy, 1958-72$
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Matthew Broad

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940483

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940483.001.0001

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Facing Europe: November 1958–December 1960

Facing Europe: November 1958–December 1960

Chapter:
(p.27) 1 Facing Europe: November 1958–December 1960
Source:
Harold Wilson, Denmark and the Making of Labour European Policy, 1958-72
Author(s):

Matthew Broad

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781786940483.003.0002

For both Labour and the SD, the FTA proposal offered solutions to a variety of pressures facing Britain and Denmark in the late 1950s without the need – as was implicit with membership of the EEC – to sacrifice sovereignty in politically sensitive sectors of the national economy. The first half of this chapter consequently traces how both parties responded to the collapse of the FTA negotiations in November 1958 and the subsequent emergence in 1959 of two distinct, and competing, economic and political units in Western Europe: the EEC and EFTA, to which Britain and Denmark were founding signatories. It explains Labour and SD dissatisfaction with this division and EFTA membership specifically, explores the various counter-initiatives they each proposed in the course of 1959, and traces the national- and European-level debates over, and ultimately failure of, these numerous schemes. The second portion of this chapter then examines Labour and SD policy evolution during 1960, which started with a passive acceptance of EFTA as an option of last resort, was followed quickly by the recognition in some quarters that EEC membership ought to be given serious consideration, and ended in late 1960 with signs of mounting internal rifts over possible EEC accession.

Keywords:   EFTA, free trade

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