Edward Heath

Edward Heath in Europe

Life and Work of Sir Edward Heath (1916-)

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes sir edward heath (1916-) in the following terms: [1] Allegedly converted to the Europhile cause as a young officer during World War II, Edward Heath was in good company in attempting, as part of Harold Macmillan’s Conservative government, to negotiate the UK’s entry in 1961 into the then Common Market, an attempt brought to an abrupt halt in 1963 by the veto of Charles de Gaulle (see more in this European encyclopedia). In 1970, as prime minister, he completed the negotiations started by his Labour predecessor, Harold Wilson, and in 1972 the UK signed the Treaty of Rome (see more in this European encyclopedia). The terms which Heath obtained were controversial, and when he lost power in 1974 the incoming Labour government sought to amend them. But it was too late. Heath had accepted the Common Fisheries Policy, which caused Norway to vote against joining the EEC. His pledge that the UK would not turn its back on the Commonwealth was barely compatible with the Common Agricultural Policy, and his reassurances that British sovereignty would not be impaired were at odds with the advice of government legal officers about the supremacy of Community law. Doubtless his objectivity, like his negotiating stance, was undermined by the sincerity of his belief in the UK joining the Community. In his later years he claimed to have been a long-standing federalist.

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Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

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