Harold Wilson

Harold Wilson in Europe

Life and Work of Harold Wilson (1916-95)

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes harold wilson (1916-95) in the following terms: [1] As Labour prime minister, Harold Wilson applied to join the EC in 1967. President Charles de Gaulle vetoed the UK’s entry, as he had previously vetoed Harold Macmillan’s application. Wilson’s motives, like Macmillan’s, were defensive; he believed the UK to be in irreversible decline and hoped that Europe’s economic success might somehow come to the rescue. Having lost the 1970 election to Edward Heath, Wilson won back power in 1974. By now the UK was in the EC, but the Labour Party had become more sceptical. After a token renegotiation of the Tory terms of accession, Wilson held a referendumin 1975, which endorsed continued British membership. The referendumcampaign repeated the exaggerated promises and downplaying of risks which had marked Heath’s entry negotiations.

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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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