Foreign Policy 1951-2007

These are my notes for The Making of Modern Britain, 1951- 2007.

ANy questions i am happy to help, just PM

These are only my notes and you will need to consolidate your own knowldege also.

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  • Created on: 29-05-15 10:26
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What was the Suez Crisis in 1956?
Suez was important for Britain because it provided access to India and the
Middle East, a vast amount of British trade, especially oil, was dependent on the Suez
Canal. In July 1956, Nasser announces his intention to nationalise the canal, he insisted
that the UK abandoned its military base at Suez. This would clearly have damaged
British trade and would also deal a blow to prestige abroad. Nasser recognised
Communist China and signed arms deals with the Soviet Union. This convinced Eden that
Nasser had to be removed, and in the first instance negotiation was to be used rather
than force.
The US opposed force, and made it clear to Eden that they would not support
military action, Eisenhower was fighting an election in November so was keen to avoid
an international dispute. It would also take 6 weeks for the UK to prepare for military
action. The CONSERVATIVE party wanted assurances from Eden that all avenues of
negotiation has been exhausted before force was used, and the LABOUR party stated
that they would only support military action if the UN gave consent.
In other words to use force would isolate Eden.
What was the Sevres Plan?
It was a joint UK-France-Israel attack on Egypt in which Eden was fully
supportive. The plan was for Israel and Egypt to become embroiled in conflict, UK, and
France act as peacekeepers while actually taking control of canal and was put into
operation in October 1956.
Israel attack Egypt -> France/UK give both 12 hours to withdraw 10 miles ->
Israel agree -> Egypt refuse -> UK/France attack. This plan was accepted by Eden's
UN was critical, US resolution calling for immediate ceasefire passed by 64
votes to 5. Eden used the UK veto to defeat this resolution, but withdrew it the next
day. USSR and USA condemnation, Eisenhower in particular felt he has been deceived
by closest ally i.e. damaged special relationship at a crucial time in the cold war. Feared
Egypt would be pushed closer towards the Soviet Union. France was angry with UK for
running out on them.

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What was the impact of the Suez Crisis?
Eden resigned in January 1957, Nasser became an Arab war hero, and oil became
rationed all over Western Europe which led to the loss of international friends. In
November 1956, the USSR invade Hungary and strengthen communism, the Suez crisis
diverted attention away from this upsetting the UK even further.…read more

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respectively whereas the UKs only by 30%.
The commonwealth may have had more people but it did not have the purchasing
power of the EEC.
Why did the government's attitude change towards EEC
The performance of Britain's economy compared to that of the EEC countries
were poor, this cast serious doubt on whether Britain could remain separated. The
failure of EFTA (European Free Trade Association 1959) cast further doubt over the
survival of Britain detached from the EEC.…read more

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What was the Wind of Change, and is there any evidence for
When: February 1960; Where: South Africa, What: referred to a deep sense of
nationalism sweeping though Africa. Unstoppable charge towards independence.
Macmillan was prepared to continue Attlee's policy of abandoning the empire.
The Gold Coast and Malaya decolonised in 1957; Nigeria and Cyprus in 1960;
Uganda, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in 1962.…read more

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What was meant by the end of Britain's influence in the `East of
The East of Suez referred to UK's military and naval bases in the Middle East
and Asia. Wilson's government needed to save money and Denis Healey (Defence
Minister) aimed to bring the defence budget under £2 billion by 1970. Healey
announced plans to withdraw UK troops from Borneo, Singapore and Malaya.…read more

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What happened?
Wilson made it clear to Smith that force was not to be used. He feared another
Suez, but force was one course of action that Smith genuinely feared.
In 1966: 3 Blacks were sentenced to hang, most likely to be innocent. Queen
Elizabeth II used her power to override this. Smith hanged them anyway, symbolic he
was in charge, UK powerless to stop it.…read more

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lots of dogs on the island (holy animals) so they were put in containers and pumped with
carbon monoxide.
Every 15 years the lease is removed, many campaigns have been made, but every
PM since Wilson said `NO' to stopping the lease. The high court in 2000 agreed with the
campaigners but in 2004 the Queen overturned this.…read more

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At the time of entry, Britain was classified as an advanced industrial economy.
This meant that it had to make higher contributions to the EEC budget than it
received in grants from Europe. By the early 1980s Britain was paying 20% of
the revenue raised by the EEC but only receiving 8% of the expenditure.
The Common Fisheries Policy severely restricted the virtual destruction of the
industry.…read more

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1979- 1990
What was the significance of the Falklands War?
The invasion, April 1982
98% of the 2,000 islanders wanted to remain part of the UK. Given this fact,
Thatcher felt justified in saying to Argentina "sovereignty is not negotiable".…read more

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Was Thatcher Pro or anti- Europe?
Thatcher was enthusiastic about the Single European Market when it was
negotiated in 1985-1986. Channel tunnel project which was agreed in 1986, symbolic link
between Britain and France. In favour of expanding the EEC to include the new states
in Eastern Europe, increased markets.
EC Budget: Thatcher challenged the EC in 1980 when it emerged that UK's
budget contribution for that year was to be £1.2 billion.…read more


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