1st Edition

Britain and the European Union

ISBN 9781138825109
Published September 28, 2016 by Routledge
428 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

This engaging and concise text offers the student and the general reader a compact, readable treatment of British membership of the European Union from 1973 to the present day. It provides a highly distilled and accessible analysis and overview of some of the parameters and recurring features of Britain’s membership of the European Union, touching on all of the major facets of membership.

Key features:

  • examines the constant and changing character of British membership of the European Union (EU)
  • discusses the problematical and often paradoxical features of membership
  • familiarizes the reader with both academic and public debates about the subject
  • offers thematic treatment of all aspects of policy and attitudes towards the EU
  • provides an overview of the main landmarks in the history of the EU since 1973
  • presents the most comprehensive and up-to-date text on the course and result of the EU referendum campaign.

This book will be of key interest to scholars, students and the generally interested reader in the areas of European Studies, British Politics, EU Studies, Area Studies and International Relations.

Table of Contents



1. Europe and the European Union

2. Back to the Future

3. Belonging without Believing

4. Leading from behind: opt-outs, opt-ins and red lines

5. Party games and politics

6. Devolution and European Union membership

7. The Press and the European Union

8. The ‘Bloody British Question’

9. Brief encounters and quick exits: the pound and Europe 1970-1992

10. The pound, the euro and the City

11. Britain, the European Union and the Wider World

12. Still leading from behind: the Conservatives and the European Union, 2010-2015

Conclusion: Journey to an unknown destination

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David Gowland was Director of the School of Contemporary European Studies and also Head of the History Department at the University of Dundee. He is the author of numerous successful books and articles including Longman's The European Mosaic series and Britain and European Integration since 1945 (Routledge).


"David Gowland has long been one of the most considered authors on the UK-EU relationship and this work offers the first real analyses of how the 2016 referendum fits into the bigger picture of that history. The book is very readable and engaging, for scholars, students and a wider audience. At a time when the UK’s European relationship is more in flux than ever before, this book provides some much-needed insight." - Simon Usherwood, University of Surrey, UK

"Britain and the European Union is clearly written, well informed, and accessible. It is a timely contribution for scholars and students alike." - Gary Marks, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, USA.

"David Gowland’s account offers a very clear and comprehensive examination of the troubled historical relationship between Britain and European integration that culminated in the June 2016 Brexit vote." - Simon Bulmer, University of Sheffield, UK.

"Britain and the European Union illuminates the riveting history of Britain’s accession to the then European Economic Community in 1973 up through its electorate’s recent decision to abnegate the country’s European Union membership. Uniquely comprehensive in its coverage of this important and still evolving story, the book will not fail to educate both the neophyte and expert student of contemporary British and European political history." - Anthony M. Messina, Trinity College, USA