A quick look at the tumultuous relationship between the UK and EU
On the day the UK was supposed to leave the EU, Euronews give a quick but detailed look at how the relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom evolved throughout the years.
Starting off with the 1963 and 1967 period where the UK struggles to join European Communities, the first embodiment of the EU. The UK’s accession to join them in 1963 and 1967 ended being vetoed by the then French President, Charles de Gaulle with the French President in 1967 declaring that Britain was incompatible with Europe.
However, with the departure of de Gaulle, Britain successfully joined the EC, with its membership coming into effect on 1 January 1973.
Then in 1975 came the first ‘Brexit’ referendum after the Labour Party won the 1974 general election, and it was an electoral promise on whether the UK was to remain in the EC. The final result was 67.2% voted in favour of staying in.
The Eighties were the Thatcher years where in 1984 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher successfully negotiated the UK rebate that reduced the United Kingdom’s contribution to the EU budget
Then in 1992 there was Black Wednesday when the UK joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) but it crashed back out of the programme due to increasing pressure from currency speculators.
A year later the European Communities becomes European Union with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty to then see the creation of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), promoting a Eurosceptic line.
Its electoral success in the 2014 European election has been touted as a correlating factor for support for the Leave campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Once more an electoral promise this time by Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron. This time 51.89% of people voted to leave the EU.
Although legally the referendum was non-binding, the government triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union in March 2017, giving the UK two years to leave the bloc.