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A Stranger in EuropeBritain and the EU from Thatcher to Blair$
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Stephen Wall

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199284559

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199284559.001.0001

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At the Heart of Europe: The Road to the Maastricht Treaty

At the Heart of Europe: The Road to the Maastricht Treaty

(p.108) 6 At the Heart of Europe: The Road to the Maastricht Treaty
A Stranger in Europe

Stephen Wall

Oxford University Press

Although John Major was born during World War II, he was a child of post-war Britain. Unlike Margaret Thatcher, who was already a teenager when war was declared, Major had no visceral fear of what a reunited Germany might do. He did not share her sense of a Britain which, almost alone, embodied the values which he held dear. Major did not wish, as the new Prime Minister, to change the fundamentals of Britain's European Union policy. The substance of policy would remain robust but the approach and presentation would change. Major wanted to be active in making a success of Britain's EU membership. He did not share his predecessor's view that all the problems of his lifetime had come from Continental Europe. He wanted to rebuild the relationship with Helmut Kohl which had had to be kept alive by Douglas Hurd in the last part of Thatcher's premiership. One month before the Maastricht European Council, Major set out his vision of an enlarged European Community.

Keywords:   John Major, Britain, European Union, Maastricht Treaty, international relations, foreign policy, Maastricht European Council, Economic and Monetary Union

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