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  • Hardcover
  • 543 pages
  • This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair
  • Hugo Young
  • English
  • 16 January 2018
  • 9780879519391

10 thoughts on “This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair

  1. says:

    Great Britain s relationship with Europe is the classic approach avoidance conflict Britain initially supported European union as much as a way to prevent a return to war as anything As the various countries of Europe recovered, economic union became attractive to foster British trade, particularly in a post colonial commonwealth The sticking point, however, grasped from the very beginning but never resolved, was how to enjoy the advantages of the European Economic Community, which Great Britain entered in 1973 under the Heath government without surrendering its sovereignty and parliamentary power, and the British pound That is true to this day In January 2013, the Cameron government promised a referendum if they remained in power beyond 2015 on whether Great Britain would remain in the European Union Euro skepticism is alive and well.Hugo Young s book is a chronicle of this history from Churchill s post war government up to the beginnings of Tony Blair s Labor Movement in 1999 Young gives us a detailed account of both the international and internal political maneuverings around Union, including de Gaulle s pre emptive refusal to vote for Britain s admittance during the 60s, the successful entrance under Heath followed by the fall of his government, the MacMillan referendum in 1975 in which the British people voted to stay in and the ambivalence of the Thatcher and Major regimes which negotiated Maastricht which took further steps toward the euro while leaving Britain with an opt out He concludes with the beginnings of the Blair government and a much warm hearted embrace of Europe It is plain in the conclusion that Young hoped this would succeed in overcoming the ambivalent relationship Sadly, it appears he was wrong.I suspect that the 500 pages of detail would be interesting for those fascinated with Britain s relationship with Europe A briefer account that didn t give every tortuous detail would have been fine with me All the detail is probably valuable as a historical record but it didn t add to my understanding.


  2. says:

    This is a very clear account of the history of the UK s tortured love hate relationship with Europe, starting with Churchill s Zurich speech and ending with the advent of the Blair government.The author was clearly an enthusiastic Europhile and his partisanship becomes strident as the book progresses through the final chapters, dealing with the Thatcher, Major and Blair governments The author died in 2003 and thus did not live to see the disaster which the imposition of the Euro has brought to the so called PIIGS countries I am sure that these little local difficulties would not have changed his mind one iota.


  3. says:

    Young s classic recounts the history of Britain s tortuous relationship with Europe from 1945 to 1998, the date of publication Oh for an updated edition, to include the 22 years which followed.Young views this history through the eyes of many key players, such as Churchill, McMillan, Heath, Thatcher and Blair, as well as other minor players, and discerns several threads In the immediate post war era, the British establishment looked down on the embryonic European project with benign indifference supportive of Franco German reconciliation, but not sensing a need to belong Suez brought home the belated realisation that Britain was not longer a global power and, combined with an economy in decline, brought about an establishment view that Britain s post Empire place lay in the then Common Market, to arrest decline Act One thus ends with accession to the European Economic Community in 1973.Act Two membership starts with the 1975 referendum, in which Margaret Thatcher, as leader of the opposition, played a key role, alongside Labour stalwarts such as Roy Jenkins Mrs Thatcher was subsequently instrumental in the establishment of the Singe Market, but fell out with Jacques Delors, whom she viewed as a socialist fifth columnist, and EMU, which she opposed These led to her downfall but ultimately energised the Tory right, which hitherto had supported Community membership on economic grounds but became opposed on political grounds Act Two ends in optimistic terms, with Blair in Downing Street, proclaiming Britain s place within the European project Young died shortly after completing this book and so never saw Act Three The Fall It thus falls to a new talent to complete this historical masterpiece.


  4. says:

    This books gives a clear account of the Euroscepticism and how UK wanted to keep the cake as well as eat it It had a love hate relationship with EU But it had to give up owing to it s own troubles back home and conflicting priorities i.e recession, American involvement and losing power It also explains the power tussle in the Labor party There is a very interesting account of how Britain faced resistance in joining EU Highly recommend for those who wanted to know why their relationship is complicated.


  5. says:

    impressive array of facts and immensely research book into how Britain s relationship with Europe has always been one of immense conflict and difficulty.


  6. says:

    the depth of knowledge in this book is very impressive although certainly not a book for someone who does not have a fundamental grasp of postwar European politics, certainly felt a little bit out of my depth reading this book in parts non the less the scholarship is impressive.


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This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blaircharacters This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair, audiobook This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair, files book This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair, today This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair, This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair dd6d8 In This Blessed Plot, Hugo Young, One Of Britain S Foremost Political Commentators, Provides An Insider S History Of Britain And The European Community, Utliziing A Wealth Of New Material And The Insight Gained From A Mass Of Interviews With The Principal Participants Young Builds This Story Of Britain S Relationship With Europe Around The Role And Record Of Each Leading Player In The Drama, Starting With Winston Churchill, The False Prophet Of What Europe Would Become, And Concluding With Tony Blair, The First Unambiguously Pro Europe Prime Minister To Be Elected Since Britain Joined The Common Market In


About the Author: Hugo Young

Hugo John Smelter Young was a British journalist and columnist and senior political commentator at The Guardian.