Chapter

“A New Dawn has Broken has it Not?” New Labour and the European Union

Stephen Wall

in A Stranger in Europe

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780199284559
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191700309 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199284559.003.0008
“A New Dawn has Broken has it Not?” New Labour and the European Union

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Tony Blair was elected to the House of Commons in 1983 at a time when the Labour Party was committed to withdrawal from the European Community (EC). Following the defeat of 1983 and the election of Neil Kinnock as Labour's new leader, the policy of the party began to change. It has been a feature of British politics that British governments have been favourable to the EC and oppositions much less so. The period from after the 1983 election until 1992 was one in which the commitment of both main parties to making a success of Britain's EC membership gradually converged. Neil Kinnock moved the Labour Party's stance from ‘withdrawal’ through ‘withdrawal as a last resort’ to a commitment to Britain's successful membership. However, as the 1997 General Election approached, hostility to the single currency, and indeed the European Union as a whole, grew in the Conservative Party while Labour's approach became more positive.

Keywords: Tony Blair; Britain; European Union; election; Labour Party; Neil Kinnock; international relations; foreign policy

Chapter.  11925 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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