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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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The First Applications: January 1961–September 1964

The First Applications: January 1961–September 1964

Chapter:
(p.63) 2 The First Applications: January 1961–September 1964
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/9781786940483.003.0003

This chapter starts by reviewing the disagreements within both Labour and the SD over EEC entry that spilled over from 1960 and became still more acute as the British Conservative government announced its decision to launch a bid for full EEC membership in July 1961. Thereafter it follows three strands. First, it focuses on the efforts of the SD government, which itself opted to apply for EEC membership, to negotiate Danish entry while seeking to manage an ever more divided party. Second, it considers how and why in this same period the Labour leadership’s hitherto balanced assessment of EEC membership slowly came undone, the culmination of which was Hugh Gaitskell’s infamous October 1962 ‘thousand years of history’ conference speech. Third, it evaluates the period from the January 1963 veto to the eve of Labour’s general electoral victory in October 1964, placing emphasis on the twin issues of possible isolated Danish accession to the EEC and the European policy of new Labour leader Harold Wilson. In so doing, it introduces a recurrent theme of the book: how the SD used its links with the Labour Party in a bid to secure changes to the shape and tone of Britain’s relationship with its European neighbours.

Keywords:   Britain and Europe, Conservative Party, Denmark, EEC, Harold Wilson, Hugh Gaitskell

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