The British political elite and Europe, 1959-1984

A higher loyalty

By Robert Lister Nicholls

The British political elite and Europe, 1959-1984


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2477-7
  • Pages: 208
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: December 2018
  • BIC Category: Political parties, Later 20th century c 1950 to c 1999, EU (European Union), POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / European, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Comparative Politics, POLITICAL SCIENCE / General, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Humanities / British & Irish history, Society & social sciences / Political parties, History, Modern History, Politics, United Kingdom, Great Britain


This book offers an original interpretation of Britain's relationship with Europe over a 25 year period: 1959-84 and advances the argument that the current problems over EU membership resulted from much earlier political machinations. This evidence based account of the seminal period analyses the applications for EEC membership, the 1975 referendum, and the role of the press. Was the British public misled over the true aims of the European project? How significant was the role of the press in changing public opinion from anti, to pro Common Market membership? Why, after over 40 years since Britain became a member of the European community, does the issue continue to deeply divide not only the political elite, but also the British public? These, and other pertinent questions are answered in this timely book on a subject that remains topical and highly controversial.


1 Political elites
2 Sovereignty
3 The first application
4 The second application
5 Taken in by Heath
6 The 1975 Referendum on EEC membership
7 Post referendum
8 Positions taken on Europe, 1959-1984
Appendix 1: Labour Parliamentary Private Secretaries sacked by Wilson - May 1967
Appendix 2: The 33 Labour rebels - May 1967
Appendix 3: The full terms
Appendix 4: The 69 Labour rebels - October 1971
Appendix 5: House of Commons three-day debate - April 1975
Appendix 6: Conservative and Labour trajectories


Robert Lister Nicholls is a former lecturer in British Politics at the University of Huddersfield

The British political elite and Europe, 1959-1984

By Robert Lister Nicholls

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

Paperback £23.50 / $33.95

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