British government, European Union and EC institutional reform

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British governments have become accustomed to havin their commitment to
“an ever closer union among the people of Europe” questioned by their European partners. Despite repeated formal declarations of their determination to seek closer union, the enthusiasm of British governments for this cause is regarded with deep scepticism by other European states. In return British governments have retained a profound suspicion of the integrationist rhetoric of some of the founder members of the European Community (EC), preferring instead to argue for incremental, pragmatic and “practical” steps towards closer co-operation. Nowhere were these differences of objectives and strategy more clearly revealed than at the meetings of the European Council in Milan (28-29 June 1985) and in Luxembourg (2-3 December 1985), and at the intervening inter-governmental conference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalPolitical Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1986


  • politics
  • British government
  • European Union
  • European commission
  • institutional reform


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