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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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How the British Government’s European Policy is Made

How the British Government’s European Policy is Made

(p.185) 9 How the British Government’s European Policy is Made
A Stranger in Europe

Stephen Wall

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains how Britain makes its policy towards Europe. Successive British governments have used a model of decision-making on European Union (EU) issues which is often envied by other member states and has been emulated by not a few. The Foreign Secretary, as chairman of the European Committee of Cabinet, sums up interministerial correspondence on a particular EU issue, tries to adjudicate where there is disagreement, and chairs a meeting of the committee where his word alone is not enough to resolve a dispute. It was no more than common sense therefore for the Prime Minister to have a small team dealing with foreign policy rather than a one-man band. The final piece in the jigsaw of European policymaking in London is implementation: how the policy decisions of ministers are carried out.

Keywords:   Britain, Europe, European Union, foreign policy, international relations, Foreign Secretary, civil servants, Prime Minister

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