What were the tactics in the corridors of power as the UK sought to enter the Common Market?
Sir Crispin Tickell was on the negotiating team – and in an interview for UK Confidential he revealed there were certain issues the government didn’t want the discussing… Why was there a desire in government to get the whole thing done so quickly? It was generally felt that if a high-profile negotiation of this kind lingered on too long, then there would be a severe risk of a change of mood in the country which would be hostile to the whole enterprise. There was a feeling we must keep making progress. If we aren’t making progress, then we’re falling backwards. How great were the concerns of public opinion turning against the project? People didn’t really understand what it was about, for one thing. And even in the year 2001 they don’t understand it either to a large degree. We’d tried to join the European Community in 1963 and that had been vetoed by (France’s President) General de Gaulle. Under the Wilson government we tried again in 1967 and that also had gone nowhere so here we we