Britain joining the EEC

  • Created by: Hoy12
  • Created on: 05-01-16 13:43

Britain joining the EEC


  • Access to European Markets
  • Stood a better chance of attracting foreign business
  • Entiled to European Development Grants
  • British workers had the right to work in an other EEC countries
  • EEC could work together on social matters for example money for poor struggling countries
  • EEC could also work together on scientific research
  • Economically at the time Britain could not survive by itself


  • No longer able to buy cheap food from the Commonwealth
  • Britain was classed as an advanced industrial economy so had to make higher contributions to receive European grants
  • British consumers ended up paying inflated food prices
  • The Common Fisheries policy restricted the right to fish in Britain's customary grounds and essentially destroyed the UK fishing industry.
  • Britain had to impose VAT on most commodities which began at 8% in 1973 and later reached 17.5%.
  • The EEC was a protectionist organisation that was looking dated in the growth of global markets.
  • Britain was forced to sacrifice its relationship with the Commonwealth
  • By the early 1980s Britain was paying 20 per cent of the revenue raised by the EEC but was only only receiving eight per cent of the expenditure. This was an illuminating contrast with Ireland which joined the EEC in the same year. Ireland was classed as an agricultural economy, Ireland was a net receiver of European funds; this largely explains why Ireland experienced an economic boom in the last quarter of the century.


Britain was invited to join the EEC after the retirement of De Gaulle and became a full member on New Years Day 1973. However, by the date of entry, Britain was mot able to negotiate her entry from a position of strength, but had to accept and terms available, for example Commonwealth goods were now no longer to enter into Britain on more favourable terms than those of Europe. This lead to Britain loosing trading partners. It was now no longer preferable for Australia to trade with Britain so she turned instead to the USA. Some people thought that Britain going the EEC was sixteen years too late and that Britain would suffer adversely from missing out on the formative years of the EEC science 1957. However in 1975, British membership was confirmed when the Wilson government held a referendum. The margin of the victory was decisive by more than 2:1. This looked reassuring that Britain was real 'IN' , but the fact that the referendum was held at all could be seen as a worrying lack of commitment. By a cruel twist Britain's entry to the EEC in 1973 coincided with the onset of an international crisis, this showed that no matter how well Britain and Europe organise themselves they are still susceptible to events in the outside world over which they have no control over. 




right the spelling is utterly atrocious