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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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Towards the Community: June 1966–May 1967

Towards the Community: June 1966–May 1967

(p.133) 4 Towards the Community: June 1966–May 1967
Harold Wilson, Denmark and the Making of Labour European Policy, 1958-72

Matthew Broad

Liverpool University Press

The build-up to the second application for British EEC membership, launched in May 1967, is the subject of this chapter. Despite the Labour landslide general election victory in March 1966 and public protestations to the contrary, by June 1966 very little progress towards a second British membership bid appeared to have been made. This chapter delineates several factors – notably the July 1966 sterling crisis – that are already acknowledged as having helped change this state of affairs. But it further highlights how the threat of a possible lone Scandinavian application for EEC entry, a policy pursued with some enthusiasm by Krag, also encouraged the Labour leader to review his still cautious European stance. Attention subsequently turns to the decision by Wilson, publicly announced in November 1966, to ‘probe’ the six EEC members as to whether the conditions for entry existed, the chapter focusing on the internal Labour and SD responses to this manoeuvre. It ends by exploring how and when the probe translated into the decision formally to apply to join the EEC, and the various party political tussles that took place as the Labour and SD governments each prepared the ground to lodge a second application with Brussels.

Keywords:   Brussels, EEC application, Harold Wilson, Jens Otto Krag, Labour Party, probe, Scandinavia

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