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By Stephen Wall

For over 20 years Sir Stephen Wall used to be on the center of Whitehall, operating for a succession of British leaders as they formed Britain's coverage in the direction of the eu Union. He used to be there backstage while Margaret Thatcher took at the remainder of Europe to 'get her cash back'. He used to be with John significant at Maastricht the place the only eu foreign money was once born. He was once with Tony Blair as a negotiator of the EU's Amsterdam, great and Constitutional Treaties. As a senior respectable in London, as Britain's ambassador to the ecu Union and as Tony Blair's senior legit adviser on Europe he observed major Ministers and overseas Secretaries outline, guard and advertise Britain's pursuits in Europe. Drawing on that have, Stephen Wall strains a British trip from 1982 to the current as successive British governments have wrestled with their courting with their fellow european companions, with the ecu fee and the ecu Parliament.A Stranger in Europe is going behind the curtain as Margaret Thatcher and her successors have sought to reconcile Britain's nationwide and ecu pursuits. Drawing at the reliable files of the interval, he provides a special perception into how Britain's leaders have balanced target evaluate of Britain's needs; political, press and public pressures; their very own political instincts and the goals, pursuits and personalities in their fellow eu leaders. We see Britain's major Ministers in intimate dialogue with different ecu leaders. We event how Britain's best politicians encouraged the easiest civil servants in their day and the way these civil servants, in flip, sought to show political directions into negotiating successes. peculiarly, we see humans on the best in their video game attempting to advertise the British nationwide curiosity and be sturdy Europeans on the comparable time.Stephen Wall analyses either Britain's successes and our disasters and indicates how, regardless of the diversities of declared goal, and enormous alterations of character, Britain's political leaders have in perform very related paths. He concludes that Britain has been an ungainly accomplice, frequently at odds along with her companions: a stranger in Europe. yet with dogged decision and seriousness of goal Britain's leaders have still performed a lot to form and reform the trendy Europe within which we are living this day.

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Additional resources for A Stranger in Europe: Britain and the EU from Thatcher to Blair

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Kohl told Mrs Thatcher that he had said to President Mitterrand that it was of the greatest importance that France, Germany, and the UK should stick together. The other members of the Community would have to be handled carefully. ” That for him was the decisive question. German policy, he said, had two bases which were unchangeable: its links with the Alliance and its links with the EC. Germany had special need of both. In no circumstances could it afford to find itself in a no-man’s land. Much of the misery of this century had been caused by a lack of clarity in Germany’s position.

There have been occasions when ministers have made clear that the question under discussion was a “very important national interest” for Britain and, more often than not, our partners have taken the hint and avoided precipitating a vote. But the events of 1982 are so seared on the memory, and ingrained in the folklore, of Whitehall that Britain has never again actually invoked the compromise and formally asked for a vote not to be taken. Any minister who wished to do so would have to get the authority of the Foreign Secretary and it is likely that, in practice, the Prime Minister of the day would have to be consulted as well.

It affirmed that the European Council could take decisions on matters of EC law, acting as the Council for that purpose. The Heads of Government undertook to report to the EP after each meeting of the European Council and to make an annual report to the Parliament, to be presented by the President of the Council, on progress towards European union. The Presidency country was henceforth obliged to present its work programme to the EP at the beginning and end of each six-month period. The EP was accorded the right to give an opinion on the choice made by EC Heads of the Commission President and to vote on the programme of the new Commission.

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