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Map showing Lisbon marked by pin
The Treaty of Lisbon created the first permanent President of the European Council in 2009.


As the European Economic Community morphed into the European Union, and its member states moved closer together, Britain's membership was called into question by an ever-increasing group of Eurosceptics. The path to Brexit was starting to emerge as new political parties were formed with one aim - to get the UK out of the EU.

At first, these new parties enjoyed little success, but with EU policies like the Maastrict Treaty, a single currency and the Lisbon Treaty, their support was on the rise. UKIP came second in the 2009 European Elections, and first 5 years later. Politicians started to take notice and the Conservative Party decided to take action.

The situation came to a head in the 2015 General Election, when David Cameron promised an ‘In/Out’ referendum. He never thought the vote would take place, and even if it did, surely Remain would win. It was a gamble the PM was prepared to take.

The EEC was replaced by the European Union on February 7th, 1992 when a treaty was signed in which city?
The Maastricht Treaty further allied member states. Even at this early stage, the UK’s Conservative Government under John Major was plagued by rebel MPs who refused to support the Prime Minister
The Referendum Party stood in the 1997 General Election in protest against the EU. How many MPs did it have elected?
The Referendum Party stood candidates in 547 of the 659 constituencies up for grabs, but failed to win a single seat. It was disbanded soon afterwards
The Treaty of Lisbon created the first permanent President of the European Council in 2009. Which former UK Prime Minister was touted for the role?
Gordon Brown
Tony Blair
John Major
Margaret Thatcher
Blair was one of the favourites for the post. However, he faced opposition because the UK was not a member of the Eurozone. Instead, Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy was elected as the first full-time President of the European Council
After the dissolution of the Referendum Party in 1997, another Eurosceptic party started to gain support. What was its name?
The Brexit Party
The British National Party
The UK Independence Party
The English Defence League
UKIP was founded in 1993 by history professor, Alan Sked. Sked was ousted in 1997 and replaced by Nigel Farage, after which he claimed that the party had been “infiltrated by racist and far-right elements”
Following their defeat in the 2001 General Election, the Conservative Party chose a new Eurosceptic leader. What was his name?
David Cameron
Sajid Javid
Iain Duncan Smith
Dominic Raab
Smith’s main rival for the role was former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke. Clarke won the backing of Conservative MPs but his strong support for the European Union cost him votes amongst Conservative Party members
In the 2004 European Elections, UKIP received 16% of the vote. What position did they finish in?
They came first
They came third
They came fifth
They came seventh
UKIP came joint third and got exactly the same number of MEPs as the Liberal Democrats. Their popularity was clearly on the rise
UKIP continued to gain support. In the 2009 European Elections they came second. Which party won?
The Monster Raving Loony Party
The Green Party
The Liberal Democrats
The Conservative Party
The Labour Party, which had been in power for 12 years, came third. It was the first time in British history that a government had been beaten in a national election by a party with no MPs. Politicians were now starting to take serious notice of the Eurosceptics
When David Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010, he was determined to end his party’s division over Europe. What did he say he didn’t want his party to do?
He didn’t want the Conservatives to “Bang on about Europe”
He didn’t want the Conservatives to “Natter too long about Europe”
He didn’t want the Conservatives to “Gossip about Europe”
He didn’t want the Conservatives to “Confabulate about Europe”
He hoped his coalition with the Liberal Democrats would be enough to quiet the Eurosceptics in his own party – he was to be disappointed
UKIP came first in the 2014 European Parliament Elections. What percentage of the vote did they get?
16.6% of the vote
26.6% of the vote
36.6% of the vote
46.6% of the vote
UKIP got just over a quarter of the votes, with Labour second on 24.4%. It doesn’t seem like an overwhelming majority, yet it was enough to make David Cameron seriously consider a second referendum on the UK's EU membership
Before the 2015 General Election, David Cameron promised an ‘In/Out’ referendum if he was elected with a majority. He thought he would never have to fulfil his promise – why?
He thought that Parliament would block his plans for a referendum
He hoped people would have forgotten his promise by the time of an election
He believed he had no chance of winning an overall majority
He believed that the UK's constitution prevented him from calling a referendum
His coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, were opposed to a referendum, as were the Labour Party. Polls suggested that the election would result in another hung parliament so Cameron thought his promise was a gamble worth taking - in the end, it spelled his demise
Author:  Graeme Haw

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