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It took eleven years for the UK to negotiate entry into the EEC.

British Membership of the European Union

Ever since the European Economic Community was founded in the 1950s, the United Kingdom has been an important neighbour and ally. Negotiations for Britain to join began in the 1960s and took more than a decade to bear fruit.

After the UK joined the EEC, the movement to take us out again soon began. Within three years, the first referendum on whether the UK should Leave or Remain was held. But public opinion was in favour of Europe and, for the next 40 years, Britain was most definately "In".

Throughout the 1980s European nations grew closer, linking their currencies and promoting free trade. But some in the UK were not happy. A significant portion of the electorate was becoming discontent - the road to Brexit had begun.

In which year did Britain begin talks aimed at joining the EEC?
In March 1957, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany signed the Treaty of Rome and created the European Economic Community (EEC). Britain first began to negotiate membership in July 1961
Britain’s efforts to join the EEC were thwarted when the President of France vetoed our application twice. What was the President’s name?
Jacques Chirac
Paul Cézanne
Charles de Gaulle
Thierry Henry
De Gaulle said, "a number of aspects of Britain's economy, from working practices to agriculture… made Britain incompatible with Europe"
Britain’s third attempt at joining the EEC was successful when the Treaty of Accession was signed by the Conservative Prime Minister in 1972. Which Prime Minister was this?
Tony Blair
Edward Heath
Margaret Thatcher
David Cameron
After de Gaulle left office in 1969, the UK made a third and successful application for membership of the EEC. Parliament approved this in 1972 and the UK joined on January 1st 1973
in 1974, one of our major parties campaigned to renegotiate Britain's terms of membership of the EEC and then hold a referendum. Which party was this?
The Conservative Party
The Liberal Party
The Labour Party
The leaders of all of the major political parties, the mainstream press, and the public, supported continuing membership of the EEC. However, the Labour Party itself was divided – hence the call for a referendum
The 1975 referendum asked voters, "Do you think the UK should stay in the European Community?” Every administrative county and region in the UK returned majority "Yes" votes, apart from two. Can you name them?
Devon and Cornwall
Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire
Lincolnshire and Norfolk
The Shetland Islands and the Outer Hebrides
Ironically, both regions voted Remain in the 2016 referendum
In the 1975 referendum, 65% of the electorate turned out to vote and the majority voted to remain. What percentage of voters opted to leave?
Remain won the referendum with a bigger majority than has been received by any Government in any general election, before or since
In 1979, the United Kingdom opted out of the precursor to the European currency, EMS. What did EMS stand for?
Easy Money Service
European Monetary System
Economic Management Structure
Enterprise Monitoring Shortcuts
The European Monetary System linked the currencies of EEC members. The Deutsche Mark became the anchor of the EMS and other currencies were forced to follow its lead. Many thought that, had the UK joined at this stage, the Pound would have been the EMS’ anchor
In the 1983 General Election, the opposition Labour Party campaigned on a policy to do with our place in the EEC. What was this policy?
To hold a second referendum on EEC membership
To join the Euro and replace the Pound
To withdraw from the EEC without a referendum
To adopt the EU flag as a replacement for the Union Jack
The Labour Party was led by Michael Foot, and their policies moved further to the left than usual. Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party won the election with the largest government majority since 1945
In 1985, the United Kingdom ratified the Single European Act. What was the main aim of the act?
A single European currency
A United States of Europe
A single European market
Free cheese and wine for Europeans
As well as a single market, the treaty also aimed to promote political cooperation between states. Europe was moving ever closer together
In October 1990, the UK joined the ERM. What was the ERM?
European Resource Management
European Exchange Rate Mechanism
European Rubber Manufacturing
European Relationship Maintenance
The UK was late to join and quick to leave the ERM. The value of the Pound dropped, and John Major’s Conservative government pulled us out of the ERM in September 1992. Euroscepticism in the UK was on the rise
Author:  Graeme Haw

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