The Impact of EU membership on the UK since 1973

London, 13 May 2013

This one-day conference considered how forty years of European Union membership have affected the UK's economy, foreign policy and politics. Leading figures from the worlds of business, politics, the civil service and diplomatic service examined the (sometimes fraught) relationship between Britain and the EU.

Forty years on from Britain's accession to the EU and at a time when the UK's membership is being re-examined by both politicians and the public, this event provided an opportunity for both a retrospective examination of the UK's relationship with the EU and a chance to look to its future.





Read a transcript of Lord Hannay's speech.


Browse photos from this event on our dedicated Flickr page.


Listen to the following audio recordings from our Archive:

The UK: Four Decades as an Awkward Partner? with Helen Drake and Stephen Wall

A Changed Foreign Policy? Recalibrating the UK's Place in the World since Accession with Paul Adamson, David Frost, Charles Grant and Nigel Sheinwald

A Changing British Economy: The Accession Effects with Peter Bishop, Neil Bentley and Marie-Louise Rossi

The Impact of EU Membership on the UK's Politics with Richard Whitman and David Hannay


Publications relevant to this event


The Europeanization of British Politics by Ian Bache & Andrew Jordan (2008), ISBN: 9780230204898

The Conservatives since 1945 by Tim Bale (2012), ISBN: 9780199234370

Britain and the European Union by Andrew Geddes (2012), ISBN: 9780230291959

Britain's Quest for a Role: A Diplomatic Memoir from Europe to the UN by David Hannay (2012), ISBN: 9781780760568

British Entry to the European Community under the Heath Government of 1970-4 by Christopher Lord (1994), ISBN: 9781855213364

The Official History of Britain and the European Community Vol 11: From Rejection to Referendum, 1963-1975 by Stephen Wall (2012), ISBN: 9780415535601


Allen, David J. The United Kingdom: Towards Isolation and a Parting of the Ways? in The Member States of the European Union, 2nd Edition by Simon Bulmer & Christian Lequesne (eds) (2012), ISBN: 9780199544837


Frey, C. (1968) Meaning Business: The British Application to join the Common Market, November 1966 - October 1967. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol VI(3)

Haack, W. (1972) The Economic Effects of Britain's Entry into the Common Market. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol XI(2)

Kitzinger, U. (1968) Britain's Crisis of Identity. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol VI(4)

Lord, C. (1992) 'Sovereign or Confused?: the Great Debate on British Entry to the European Community Twenty Years On', Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol XXX(4)

Marshall, P. (2013) Forty Years On: Britain in the EU. The Round Table The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Vol 102 (1).

Pertusot, V. (2013) In Europe, not ruled by Europe: Tough love between Britain and the EU, Note de l'Ifri, ISBN: 97823656

Various (2012). '40 Years of EU Membership: The UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland', Journal
of Contemporary European Research
. 8 (4), pp. 530-570.

Wallace, H. and Wallace, W. (1973) The Impact of Community membership on the British Machinery of Government. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol XI(4)

Zakheim, D. (1973) Britain and the EEC - Opinion Poll Data 1970-1972. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol XI(3)

Special Issues

International Affairs, Special Issue - 'Forty years on: the UK and Europe' (2012), Vol 88(6)