Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

Britain’s EU Journey: When It Signed Up, 16 Years Late

Britain’s EU Journey: When It Signed  Up, 16 Years Late

LONDON — Britain officially leaves the European Union on Jan. 31 after a debilitating political period that has bitterly divided the nation since the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Full Coverage: Brexit
Difficult negotiations setting out the new relationship between Britain and its European neighbors will continue throughout 2020.
This series of stories chronicles Britain’s tortured relationship with Europe from the post-World War II years to the present.
Winston Churchill’s call in 1946 for a “United States of Europe or whatever name or form it may take” started taking shape swiftly.
The Conservative government of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan pushed for British membership in the EEC, but his ambition was thwarted by French President Charles de Gaulle. After de Gaulle vetoed Britain’s first bid to join in 1963, Macmillan was so distraught he confided in his diary that “all our policies at home and abroad are in ruins.”
De Gaulle said “non” again in 1967, this time to Britain’s Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
De Gaulle, who spent much of World War II in London when France was under occupation, warned his five EEC partners that Britain had a “deep-seated hostility” to European integration that could bring about the end of what was then referred to as the “common market.” He also worried that in crunch times, Britain would always side with the United States over its continental neighbours.
De Gaulle’s comments certainly proved true decades later during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, when Britain did side with the U.S. over its EU partners France and Germany.
It was only after de Gaulle had left the scene that Britain could finally take its place at the European top table. De Gaulle’s successor, French President Georges Pompidou, was far more amenable to British membership and by 1973 Britain finally joined the group, with all of its the main political parties in favor of the move. (AP News)