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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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Dealing with Rejection: May 1967–December 1968

Dealing with Rejection: May 1967–December 1968

(p.166) 5 Dealing with Rejection: May 1967–December 1968
Harold Wilson, Denmark and the Making of Labour European Policy, 1958-72

Matthew Broad

Liverpool University Press

This chapter studies the 18-month period following the submission of the second British and Danish membership bids in May 1967. French president Charles de Gaulle indicated already on 16 May that enlargement would most likely severely test the workings and stability of the EEC; six months later, in yet another press conference, he eventually confirmed his intention to veto accession for a second time. The chapter therefore starts by considering how the Labour and SD leaderships publicly responded to the veto, which in both cases saw both refuse to accept French actions. The second half of the chapter then explores the SD’s private frustrations that Danish EEC membership had again been scuppered by the geopolitical rivalry between London and Paris. It similarly concentrates on the discussions that took place within the Labour Party about quite how wise it was to pursue EEC membership when, with de Gaulle at the helm, continued British exclusion seemed assured. In other words, this chapter not only exposes the divergent ideas to the post-veto period championed within each of the parties, but also highlights, and discuss the significance of, the growing policy gulf that grew between Labour and the SD.

Keywords:   application, Charles de Gaulle, Labour Party, European integration, France, Social Democrats, veto

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