Europe and the European Union

Roger Awan-Scully*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The ‘European issue’, in various manifestations, has become one of the perennial arguments within British politics. Disputes about Britain’s relations with Europe are long-running and have been highly consequential for the country and its politics over the last fifty years. These disagreements, whether between Britain and its continental neighbours, or in the form of conflicts within Britain about the country’s proper role in Europe, have been one of the major features of the British political scene for most of the post-war era. ‘Europe’ has generally remained an issue that excites passions within the political elite rather than the mass public, however: even today, after almost thirty years of British membership, few in the British public know much about the European Union (EU), and many freely confess to being bewildered by it. And yet, on at least one occasion, public opinion has exercised a decisive influence over British relations with Europe; moreover, there is every prospect of the public being called upon to issue a similar judgement in the future over the question of whether the UK should join the European single currency.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCentral Debates in British Politics
EditorsJohn Benyon, David Denver, Justin Fisher
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317874942, 9781315837796
ISBN (Print)058243727X, 9780582437272, 9781138155909
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2002

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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