“Our sole commitment is to negotiate; no more, no less”. The Conservative Party and Britain’s Entry into the EEC
“Our sole commitment is to negotiate; no more, no less”
The Conservative Party and Britain’s Entry into the EEC
Research Fellow, University of Padua
On 3rd January, 1973, two days after the United Kingdom had become an effective Member State of the European Community, Edward Heath inaugurated “Fanfare for Europe”, an official national festival to mark Britain’s admission. The festival was intended to be part celebration, part rallying call, part advertisement for the mutual benefits of EEC membership. The programme included a football match between a team drawn from the original six and one selected from the new member states, played before a less than half-full Wembley Stadium; an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum called “Treasures from the European Community”; a “Dutch breakfast” and food festival at a London hotel; and, in Scotland, a coordinated demonstration of “Continental cooking”. Press coverage was dismissive; the event that received the most publicity was the opening gala, when 200 opponents booed and intoned Nazi slogans as the Queen, Prince Philip and Heath arrived at the Royal Opera House. It was the largest demonstration involving members of the Royal Family seen in London until then.1
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