‘How has being a member of the EU affected British government and policies?’

‘How has being a member of the EU affected British government and policies?’

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Britain has always had a difficult relationship with the European Union, initially refusing to become a member before reluctantly joining, there seems to be a level of distrust of the European policies. I will explore this distrust within this essay. This essay will also give an insight into the history of Britain, the EU and identify any changes in British government’s policies since becoming a member.
For many people in Britain, the EU remains an unwelcoming aspect of their lives, this reflects on a dislike to ‘all things European.’ Mannin states “The European Union (EU) is a unique partnership in which countries work closely together for the benefit of all their citizens” (2010, p.343) People may believe that the UK is different to other countries and by joining the EU, Britain will lose its identity and by working closely with other countries, also its independence. The tabloid press have always seemingly had a highly negative view on the EU, The Sun reported that Labour had betrayed Britain; the article identifies weaknesses in the EU and claims Gordon Brown surrendered our country to Europe by shifting British power over. (2009)
Due to the EU’s apparent unpopularity, Politicians can find it difficult to show any enthusiasm as it could prove to be a disadvantage in an election. Jones et al, (2006, p.803) believe that people’s opinion on the EU is very important, and one which politicians take notice of, they state “UK public opinion on European issues has to be taken account of. The difficulty is that many members of the public regard the EU as remote until some threat to the British life is perceived, such as the abolition of the pound if the government were to join EMU.”
The Conservative government however, believes...


... middle of paper ...


... E., (2005) Should Britain leave the EU?: an economic analysis of a troubled relationship. 1st ed. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited


• Johnston, P., (2009) EU:Is Britain still a sovereign state? Available: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/6198513/EU-is-Britain-still-a-sovereign-state.html (Accessed: 27/12/11)


• Jones, A., 2007. Britain and the European Union. 1st ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd


• Jones, B., Kavanagh, D., Moran,M. and Norton,P., (2006) Politics UK. 6th ed. London: Pearson Education

• Lauterpacht, E., and Greenwood, C.J., 1999. International law reports.1st ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


• Meikle, J., (2012) Patients put at risk by EU laws on working time, doctors warn. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jan/12/patients-risk-eu-laws-doctors Accessed: 12/01/12

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