ATAPIN E.A. Evolution of British Euroscepticism in the Second Half of the 20th Century


Evgenii A. Atapin

Postgraduate Student,

Department of History of Foreign Countries and Oriental Studies,

Voronezh State University,

Universitetskaya Sq., 1, 394018 Voronezh, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The United Kingdom is the most prominent example of a Eurosceptic country in the EU. For many years the United Kingdom did not feel a part of Europe. Great Britain was geographically separated from continental Europe and psychologically distant from the European integration movement established by the 1957 Treaty of Rome. The British Eurosceptic tradition rested on these geographic and psychological characteristics. Eurosceptic traditions included political, economic, linguistic, cultural and historical aspects that made it difficult for the United Kingdom to accept European integration.

Methods and materials. The research methodology is based on narrative and comparative methods. The materials of the study incorporate statements of certain British politicians about attitudes towards European integration, works devoted to the analysis of Euroscepticism in the United Kingdom and manifestos of some far-right political parties.

Analysis. A study of the attitude to European integration of the two main political forces of Great Britain, namely the Conservative and the Labour Parties, in the second half of the 20th century is carried out.

Results. The study results in the creation of a periodization of British Euroscepticism in the second half of the 20th century. Three stages of evolution of British Euroscepticism in the period under study are distinguished: 1) the stage preceding the entry of Great Britain into the European Communities, conventionally called “Labour”; 2) the stage of the United Kingdom’s participation in the “common market”, conventionally called “Conservative”; 3) the stage of Britain’s participation in the European Union, conventionally called “Right-wing populist”. Their chronological framework is established and their main characteristics are given.

Key words: United Kingdom, Europe, European Economic Community (EEC), European Union ( EU), British euroscepticism, Labour Party, Conservative Party, right-wing populists.

Citation. Atapin E.A. Evolution of British Euroscepticism in the Second Half of the 20th Century. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 171-183. DOI:

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Evolution of British Euroscepticism in the Second Half of the 20th Century by Atapin E.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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