Bienek, Caspar Johannes (2020) The United Kingdom in the European Community: The diplomacy of the UK government towards the Single European Act, 1984-5. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the policy making of the United Kingdom towards the Single European Act (SEA) from June 1984 to December 1985. The SEA codified the practice of foreign policy coordination and began a process of liberalising the Single Market of the European Community (EC). The literature has identified the SEA as an important milestone in the process of European integration. Controversy surrounds the question as to how Margaret Thatcher could sign the SEA but afterwards say she did not like it. This research makes a contribution with a multi archival and multilingual analysis of the UK government’s decision making and diplomacy in the negotiations that lead to the SEA. This dissertation argues that the UK government’s approach to the SEA went through two phases. In the first phase, Thatcher unsuccessfully attempted to lead the EC, in cooperation with Germany and France, into formalising foreign policy coordination. In the second phase, Thatcher withheld her commitment to the ongoing talks until the shape of the SEA had become clear, while the Foreign Secretary and diplomats were negotiating the clauses of the SEA. Using the SEA as a lens makes it possible to comment on the broader theme of Margaret Thatcher’s views on European integration and adds a puzzle piece to the history of the relationship between the UK and the EC.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Political and Global Studies
Contributors: Parr, Helen (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2020 11:01
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2020 11:01
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/8399

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