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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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(p.237) Conclusions
Harold Wilson, Denmark and the Making of Labour European Policy, 1958-72

Matthew Broad

Liverpool University Press

This chapter surmises the findings from the six main empirical chapters before offering some broader lessons that come from a study of Labour and SD European policy between 1958 and 1972. It suggests that both leaderships viewed European integration with more composure, foresight and consistency than often assumed. It also suggests that, for both parties, the European integration process was not distinct from but rather intimately linked with the cold war. More significantly, it reminds us why the Anglo-Danish relationship, and the Labour-SD nexus in particular, is worthy of study. Denmark was not condemned simply to follow Britain but actively to challenge British policy, engage in British politics and confront British policymakers – and ties between the two centre-left groups was a particularly apt vehicle through which to exert such pressure. In much the same way, Britain found it could not simply ignore the wishes or whims of a country of just 5 million people. As Labour quickly learnt, the relationship with the SD was crucial if it hoped to access information about, and manage relations with, Scandinavia. The relationship between Harold Wilson and Jens Otto Krag was at times especially crucial to their parties’ approach to European affairs.

Keywords:   Anglo-Danish relations, cold war, European integration, Harold Wilson, Jens Otto Krag, Scandinavia

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