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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 Road to Enlargement: January 1969–October 1972

The Road to Enlargement: January 1969–October 1972

(p.199) 6 The Road to Enlargement: January 1969–October 1972
Harold Wilson, Denmark and the Making of Labour European Policy, 1958-72

Matthew Broad

Liverpool University Press

This chapter follows the evolution of Labour and SD European policy from January 1969 through to the Danish EEC referendum of October 1972. It pays attention variously to the fallout from de Gaulle’s resignation in April 1969, the subsequent election of Georges Pompidou to the French presidency in June 1969, and EEC’s December 1969 summit in The Hague following which enlargement was once again top of the political agenda. It uncovers why, despite these theoretically positive developments, this period was for the SD at least monopolised by the idea of a Nordic alternative to a British-led EEC application. In reality, however, the SD had less chance of altering Denmark’s European course given its losing of the January 1968 general election. So was the case with Labour, which returned to opposition in June 1970. Even so, the chapter demonstrates how a ‘Nordic detour’ still coloured relations between the two parties; how, with London and Copenhagen having secured accession, the Labour and SD leaderships handled the months prior to EEC enlargement in January 1973 amid ever deeper internal splits; and how relations between Wilson and Krag proved crucial for both leaders in the weeks immediately before the Danish referendum.

Keywords:   Charles de Gaulle, Denmark, enlargement, Georges Pompidou, The Hague Summit, Nordic, referendum

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