The Making of Modern Britain 12- Foreign Affairs 70s

What happened in 1973, after the 3rd time of trying?
Britain finally joined the EEC.
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Who were divided on Europe?
Both Conservatives and Labour.
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What did most people know about Britain an the EEC?
That Britain was more than likely going to be accepted.
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Was Heath pro-European?
Yes. Unlike Wilson, who was uncommitted to Europe and worried about maintaining unity in the Labour Party.
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How does we know that Heath was pro-European?
First speech in parliament was about the Schuman Plan. Been to Germany in the 30s, and shocked at Nazi. Felt European cooperation was key to stop this repeating.
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What else helped Britian gain entry to the EEC?
De Gaulle was no longer in charge of France, it was now Georges Pompidou, who thought Britain was key to the EEC.
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What was the bigger issue that plagued government?
Getting parliamentry seal of approval in Britain, to join the EEC.
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Why was this an issue?
The Conservatives had doubters, particularly those who believed in the Commonwealth and those who believed that Britain would be surrendering her sovereignity.
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Who was the biggest critic?
Enoch Powell. Relationship with Heath was very poor after Rivers of Blood speech.
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What did Powell do in parliament in response to the EEC?
Voted against the passage of the European Bill through parliament at every single stage. believed that Heath betrayed the country by signing the treaty before being debated in parliament.
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What did Powell even do in Feb 1974?
Called on his supporters to vote Labour. Refused to stand as a Conservative.
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What was the opinions on Europe in the Labour Party?
They were even more divided than the Conservatives.
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Name a pro-European?
Roy Jenkins
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Who was against Europe?
The Labour left
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Wilson's opinion?
Neither strongly for membership nor against it, more focussed with ensuring party unity.
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Even though Labour rejected Heath's plans in parliament, why could they not argue?
Too many pro-europeans in the party. Instead, Wilson argued that the terms were not good enough.
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What was the only way to keep his party together?
To hold a re-negotiation and a national referendum.
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How did 69 rebel MPs help Conservatives to win what?
69 rebel Labour MP's helped Conservatives win a Commons vote with 20 more abstaining.
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What happened on New Years Day 1973?
The Six became nine, as Britian was accepted into Europe.
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When Labour became victorious again, what was Wilson's main aim?
To maintain party unity.
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What was this demonstrated by?
The referendum campaign of 1975.
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What did this allow?
Labour anti-European cabinet ministers to campaing according to their own views, rather than enforcing a party line.
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by 1975, what were voters more drawn to ?
Britain staying in the EEC.
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What drew people to being in the EEC?
The economic misery that Britain was in proved it needed the EEC for economic survival. Most of the press were in favour of the EEC.
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On which side were the press on?
The 'Yes' Campaign
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What was the 'Yes' campaign compared to the 'no' campaign?
well financed by business supporters. 1975- survey, out of 419 company chairman, only 4 wanted to leave.
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Who led the 'Yes' campaign?
Most of the cabinet, incl. Roy Jenkins, plus Edward Heath and liberal leader, Jeremy Thorpe.
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In what categories did the 'No' campaigners fall into?
Those who thought it would be bad for British workers e.g. Barbara Castle & Michael Foot. And those against the membership on the basis that Britain may lose it's independence e.g. Tony Benn & Enoch Powell.
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What was the question asked in the referendum?
'Do you think the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community?'
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Which camp won in July 75?
YES- 68.3% NO-32.5%. Meant Britain's membership was confirmed.
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Why did this look reassuring?
It was decisive, and the Yes won two to one. Proof that Britain really was in. Showed commitment.
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Why was the win a triumph for Wilson personally?
He had avoided a Labour split.
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Why was Heath less inclined to strengthen the Atlantic Alliance?
He was more focused on Europe. Rejected attempts from the US sectary of state, Henry Kissinger to use Britain as a link to Europe.
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What did Henry Kissinger say about Heath after this?
Heath’s attitude was totally at variance with the ‘special relationship’
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But did Heath get on well with in spite of this?
the US president, Richard Nixon- more forthright in his support for the Vietnam war than Wilson .
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Why did relations between Britain and the USA worsen in Oct 1973?
During the Yom Kippur war.
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What was the Yom Kippur war?
Short war in Oct 1975,between Israel and Arab states incl. Egypt and Syria. USA supported Israel and the USSR supported Arab.
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What did the US want to do?
Use NATO bases in Europe for an airlift of supplies to Israel.
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What did Britain and other European states do in response to this?
Refused permission- feared supplies of oil from the Middle East would be put at risk.
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What did this do for the special relationship?
Put it under great strain.
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What were Wilson's and Callaghan's attitudes towards USA?
Both still keen on the Atlantic Alliance.
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What did Callaghan have and what did this allow to do?
Had a strong friendship wiht Kissinger, negotiated the replacement of Polaris missiles with Trident in 1979, with President Carter.
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But what did Britain do that concerned the USA?
Britain still withdrew from East of the Suez despite US concerns. America was unhappy with British troops being removed from their bases in Borneo, Malaysia, Singapore and the Persian Gulf.
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Even through disagreements, why did the USA and Britain still work together during the 70s?
Continued to share the foreign policy objective of holding back communism.
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What was there during the 70s in relation the the USSR?
Period of detente- an easing of hostility between nations.
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After the Cuban missile crisis, why did they decided to do this?
US and USSR tried to prevent such a situation recurring by establishing direct contact- led to meetings and an agreement to limit the build-up of arms. (Test-ban treaty)
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But why did an underlying tension still remain?
Fears about the USSR's influence in Eastern Europe.
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What was this demonstrated by?
Georgi Markov affair- Bulgarian who defected to the West in 1969. Outspoken about criticisms of the communist regime. But he was assassinated in London in 1978- Russian secret service, the KGB suspected of being behind it.
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What was detente threatened during this period?
Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 but more importantly the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
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What were relationships like between the USA, Britain and China?
They were strained.
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How did this change suddenly?
July 1971- Nixon announced the thawing of relations followed by a visit to China in Feb 1972.
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How did Britain follow suit?
Agreed an exchange of ambassadors with China. Heath made lots of visits to China from 1974 on wards
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What showed the improved relations?
Oct 1979- the leader Hua Guofeng visited Britain as part of an European leader. First one to do so since the communist revolution.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Who were divided on Europe?


Both Conservatives and Labour.

Card 3


What did most people know about Britain an the EEC?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Was Heath pro-European?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


How does we know that Heath was pro-European?


Preview of the front of card 5
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