Table of Contents
The meaning of Euroscepticism
Causes and progress of the Euroscepticism in Great Britain
Great Britain and Europe
“We are with you, but not of you,” the famous quote by Winston Churchill in 1948 what unofficially stated Great Britain’s political position towards Europe. Great Britain has been an awkward partner in Europe for a long time. Non-willingness to be described as a part of Europe, the refusal to join European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 (predecessor of the European Community and European Union), the willingness to go ‘only wider, but not deeper’ in case of European Union expansion, and the fear of losing her national identity and becoming a European, just as everyone else, are still just some of the actions Britain has taken to defend her exceptional identity. Because of that, Great Britain is often described as ‘an awkward partner’ and ‘reluctant European’ what leads this report to its main question - how has British Euroscepticism affected Britain’s role in Europe? Choice of the topic is based on endless debates and ambiguity caused by Britain’s and Europe’s relationships in political as well as social spheres. Based on materials collected through the desk research, this report tries to understand interdependence of these two sides. This report addresses main question, going through three sections explaining Euroscepticism and its impact on Great Britain and Europe. First, report examines Euroscepticism itself. What is the meaning and definition of the term, as well as what role does it play for Great Britain, and in what ways is it manifested. Second section considers reasons and evidence why Euroscepticism has started in Great Britain and why it is one of the most characterizing features identifying British foreign policy today. The final section examines how Great Britain’s attitude and actions taken have affected Europe’s and its member’s view of Great Britain’s role. Besides that - how Great Britain on its own sees her role and what position she would like to take or maintain. The materials selected and used for this report mostly refer to articles from well-known journals of politics and economics as well as research papers of professional reputation. Apologies to the other sex, but throughout the text this report will refer to Great Britain as “her/she” when needed.
The meaning of Euroscepticism
What does the term “Euroscepticism” actually means? It has been difficult to find the most suitable and appropriate definition for this term, because it is not quite clear what is meant by the preposition Euro. Numerous discussions have been carried out, whether it applies to Europe as a part of the world or if it is meant as a currency, or is it a term that describes membership of European Union and many more. Although, the most coherent and objective definition has been found and approved. Oliver J. Daddow’s summary on workshop of comparative Euroscepticism in 2004 - opposition to Europe takes many forms: opposition to the European project per se, opposition to the European Union (EU) but sympathy with the goals of European integration more generally, or opposition to particular segments of the current integration process or the further extension of EU policy competencies, such as the euro or the European Constitution. (Daddow 2006: 64) One of the main reasons for British Euroscepticism is fear of losing control of their own country and letting Europe to rule it, what has always been a deeply divisive issue in British politics precisely because it raises fundamental issues of national identity. In the 1970s it split the Labour Party, leading in 1981 to a new if short-lived breakaway party, the SDP. In the 1990s, the Conservatives were split by the Maastricht treaty and the attempt to ratify it almost destroyed John Major’s government. Europe could easily prove as divisive in the future as it has been...
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