Britain and Europe

Increase Cooperation

Although Britain did increase cooperation with Europe after WW2, they did not join any of the European communities based on trade and economics. Britain still had good relationships with countries that they once colonised, and they didn’t want to ruin them by getting involved in European agreements.

The Cold War

During the Cold War, when the USA and USSR were rivals, the USA and Britain had a close relationship. Britain was admitted to the EEC in 1973, and in 1979, the European Parliament was created where MPs were elected from all members from the EEC which was just advisory to start with.


The European Economic Community (EEC) was the first time that there had been full cooperation from Europe. Although at first, they were just an advisory council, they now pass laws that apply to all member states. By the end of the 1980s, there were 12 countries in the EEC.

The EU

The EEC became the EU in the 1990s, and all countries signed a treaty to agree on cooperation over economies, trade, and foreign affairs. By 2013, there were 28 member countries, and 19 of them use the single European currency - the ‘Euro’.


Britain has been divided over membership of the European Union since they joined in 1975. They have had a number of referenda about membership and the two sides are pro-Europeans or Euro-sceptics. This culminated in 2016, when Britain voted to leave the EU in the ‘Brexit’ referendum.

When did Britain join the EEC?
How many member states are there in the EU?
What does Eurosceptic mean?
Your answer should include: not wanting / bound by Europe / independent