The United Kingdom voted on June 23, 2016 to leave the European Union. It will finally leave at 11pm tonight. It’s been a long and winding road to get where we are. Britain declined to join the EU’s forerunner, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), when it was founded in 1952. Prime Minister Clement Attlee said his Labour Party would not accept the economy being “handed over to an authority that is utterly undemocratic and is responsible to nobody”. Britain also stayed out of the European Economic Community (EEC) when it was formed from the ECSC in 1957. But Conservative Prime Minister Harold MacMillan reversed this position in 1961 and sought membership of the EEC, saying European unity was an essential factor “in the struggle for freedom and progress throughout the world”. Britain joined in 1973 and spent more than 40 years at the heart of what would later become the EU. Yet tensions started to show in the 1980s and 1990s when the Tory Eurosceptics began to find voice. Those tensions were encouraged by Margaret Thatcher carving out a ‘rebate’ from payments into the EU’s Budget – and a rise in Eurosceptic press coverage including from former journalist… Read full this story
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