Chapter

A prelude to secession? The parliamentary Labour right and Europe

Stephen Meredith

in Labours Old and New

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780719073229
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701508 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719073229.003.0004
A prelude to secession? The parliamentary Labour right and Europe

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This chapter investigates the differential attitudes and perspectives of European integration on the parliamentary Labour right, and the fault lines and divisions contained therein. Labour Party divisions over Europe were the antithesis of contemporary debates over defence. Hugh Gaitskell's verdict on the Common Market exposed a serious political fissure of Labour Party Revisionism. The Common Market debate and vote of October 1971 served to consolidate the increasing political distance between Roy Jenkins and Tony Crosland. Gaitskell could unite the party in opposition, after the earlier battles over Clause IV and unilateralism. He found that his career reached its height in the weeks after Labour's 1962 Brighton Conference. The cumulative effect of parliamentary Labour right and revisionist divisions in a number of critical policy spheres was conducive to a longer gestation period for the creation of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Keywords: parliamentary Labour right; European integration; Labour Party Revisionism; Europe; Hugh Gaitskell; Common Market; Roy Jenkins; Tony Crosland; revisionist divisions; Social Democratic Party

Chapter.  16808 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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