1975 United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum
The United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum known variously as the Referendum on the European Community, the Common Market referendum and EEC membership referendum, took place under the provisions of the Referendum Act 1975 on 5 June 1975 in the United Kingdom to gauge support for the country's continued membership of the European Communities — known at the time as the European Community and the Common Market — which it had entered two and a half years earlier on 1 January 1973 under the Conservative government of Edward Heath. Labour's manifesto for the October 1974 general election had promised that the people would decide through the ballot box whether to remain in the EC; this was the first national referendum to be held throughout the entire United Kingdom and remained the only UK-wide referendum until the 2011 referendum on alternative voting was held thirty-six years and was the only referendum to be held on the UK's relationship with Europe until the 2016 referendum on continued EU membership.
The electorate expressed significant support for EC membership, with 67% in favour on a national turnout of 64%. The referendum result was not binding. In a 1975 pamphlet Prime Minister Harold Wilson said: "I ask you to use your vote. For it is your vote; the Government will accept your verdict." The pamphlet said: "Now the time has come for you to decide. The Government will accept your decision — whichever way it goes." The February 1974 general election had yielded a Labour minority government, which won a majority in the October 1974 general election. Labour pledged in its February 1974 manifesto to renegotiate the terms of British accession to the EC, to consult the public on whether Britain should stay in the EC on the new terms, if they were acceptable to the government; the Labour Party had feared the consequences of EC membership, such as the large differentials between the high price of food under the Common Agricultural Policy and the low prices prevalent in Commonwealth markets, as well as the loss of both economic sovereignty and the freedom of governments to engage in socialist industrial policies, party leaders stated their opinion that the Conservatives had negotiated unfavourable terms for Britain.
The EC heads of government agreed to a deal in Dublin on 11 March 1975. On 9 April the House of Commons voted by 396 to 170 to continue within the Common Market on the new terms. Along with these developments, the government drafted a Referendum Bill, to be moved in case of a successful renegotiation; the referendum debate and campaign was an unusual time in British politics and was the third national vote to be held in seventeen months. During the campaign, the Labour Cabinet was split and its members campaigned on each side of the question, an unprecedented breach of Cabinet collective responsibility. Most votes in the House of Commons in preparation for the referendum were only carried after opposition support, the Government faced several defeats on technical issues such as the handling and format of the referendum counts; when the European Coal and Steel Community was instituted in 1952, the United Kingdom decided not to become a member. The UK was still absent when the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, creating the European Economic Community.
However, in the late 1950s the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan changed its attitude and appointed Edward Heath to submit an application and lead negotiations for Britain to enter the Common Market. The application was made at a meeting of the EC in January 1963, but the French president Charles de Gaulle rebuffed and vetoed Britain's request. Despite the veto, Britain restarted talks with the European Communities countries in 1967. Heath included negotiating membership in the 1970 Conservative manifesto. Heath became Prime Minister, led many of the negotiations: he struck up a friendship with the new French president Georges Pompidou, who oversaw the lifting of the veto and thus paved the way for UK membership. Between 21 and 28 October 1971 the House of Commons debated whether or not the UK should become a member of the EC, with Prime Minister Edward Heath commenting just before the vote: The House of Commons voted 356-244 in favour of the motion, with the Prime Minister commenting straight afterwards on behalf of the house.
No referendum was held when Britain agreed to an accession treaty on 22 January 1972 or when the European Communities Act 1972 went through the legislative process, on the grounds that to hold one would be unconstitutional. The United Kingdom joined the European Communities on 1 January 1973, along with Denmark and the Republic of Ireland; the EC would become the European Union. Throughout this period, the Labour Party was divided, both on the substantive issue of EC accession and on the question of whether accession ought to be approved by referendum. In 1971 pro-Market figures such as Roy Jenkins, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, said a Labour government would have agreed to the terms of accession secured by the Con
1994 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
The European Parliament Election, 1994 was the fourth European election to be held in the United Kingdom. It was held on 9 June; the electoral system was, for the final European election, first past the post in England and Wales and single transferable vote in Northern Ireland. This was the first election with 87 MEPs, the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1993 increased the number of seats for the UK from 81. For the first time, the UK did not have the lowest turnout in Europe. Turnout was lower in the Portugal; this was the first European election contested by the formed UK Independence Party and the first European election in which the Liberal Democrats won seats. The Green Party lost more than three-quarters of the votes; the Conservatives' lost 14 seats, taking their number of seats down to 18, 42 fewer seats than in the 1979 election, the year they defeated the Labour Party in the 1979 General Election. This reflected the general unpopularity of the Major government at the time. Labour was under the interim leadership of Margaret Beckett following the sudden death of leader John Smith the previous month.
Sources: "European Parliament elections: 1979 to 1994". House of Commons Library. United Kingdom election results Sources: "European Parliament elections: 1979 to 1994". House of Commons Library. United Kingdom election resultsTotal votes cast – 15,292,722. All parties shown. Note 1: Campion's candidacy, with the ballot paper description'Peace Coalition', was supported by Democratic Left, the Greens and some Labour groups. Note 2: Kerr appeared on the ballot paper with the description Independence for Ulster. Note 3: Mooney appeared on the ballot paper with the description Constitutional Independent Northern Ireland. Peter Beazley Sir Fred Catherwood Derek Prag Madron Seligman John Bird Janey Buchan Geoff Hoon Henry McCubbin Christopher Beazley Nicholas Bethell, 4th Baron Bethell Margaret Daly Paul Howell Christopher Jackson Bill Newton Dunn Ben Patterson Peter Price Christopher Prout Patricia Rawlings Amédée Turner Michael Welsh Richard Fletcher-Vane, 2nd Baron Inglewood Labour – Margaret Beckett Conservative – John Major Liberal Democrat – Paddy Ashdown Green – Jan Clark SNP – Alex Salmond Plaid Cymru – Dafydd Elis Thomas UK Independence Party – Alan Sked Liberal Party – Michael Meadowcroft DUP – Ian Paisley SDLP – John Hume UUP – James Molyneaux Elections in the United Kingdom: European elections MEPs for the UK 1994 - 1999
1984 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
The European Parliament Election, 1984 was the second European election to be held in the United Kingdom. It was held on 14 June; the electoral system was First Past the Post in England and Wales and Single Transferable Vote in Northern Ireland. The turnout was again the lowest in Europe. In England and Wales, the Liberal Party and Social Democratic Party were in alliance, collecting 2,591,635 votes but not a single seat; the election represented a small recovery for Labour, under Michael Foot's replacement Neil Kinnock, taking 15 seats from the Conservatives. In the general election of 1983, they had only had a vote share of 2% more than the SDP–Liberal Alliance and 15% less than the Conservatives. Source: UK Parliament briefing Overall turnout: 32.6% Overall votes cast: 13,998,190 Source: UK Parliament briefing Total votes cast - 13,312,898. All parties listed. Source: Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive Source: UK-Elect Conservative - Margaret Thatcher Labour - Neil Kinnock Liberal - David Steel SDP - David Owen SNP - Gordon Wilson Plaid Cymru - Dafydd Elis Thomas DUP - Ian Paisley SDLP - John Hume UUP - James Molyneaux Elections in the United Kingdom: European elections Members of the European Parliament for the United Kingdom 1984–1989
Representative of the European Union, London
The Representative of the European Union in London are the diplomatic missions of the European Commission and the European Parliament in the United Kingdom. They are both located in 32 Smith Square; the building was the Conservative Party's Central Office from the late 1950s until 2004 and was famous as the place where the Conservatives planned and celebrated their election victories. It was left vacant until 2009 when the EU chose it as their new London office, along with a new personalised postcode – SW1P 3EU. There was some criticism of the amount spent by the EU in updating the interior of the building, which included the installation of bomb and bullet-proof windows. Official site of the European Commission office Official site of the European Parliament office Europa -UK - Brexit
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis
European Communities Act 1972 (UK)
The European Communities Act 1972 known as the ECA 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which made legal provision for the accession of the United Kingdom to the three European Communities, namely the EEC, the Coal and Steel Community. The Treaty of Accession was signed by the Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath and the President of the European Commission Franco Maria Malfatti in Brussels on 22 January 1972; the Act provided for the incorporation into UK law of the whole of European Community law and its "acquis communautaire": its Treaties and Directives, together with judgments of the European Court of Justice. By the Act, Community Law became binding on all legislation passed by the UK Parliament. Arguably the most significant statute to be passed by the Heath government of 1970-74, the Act is one of the most significant UK constitutional statutes passed; the act has been amended from its original form, incorporating the changes wrought by the Single European Act, the Maastricht Treaty, the Amsterdam Treaty, the Nice Treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon.
On 13 July 2017, the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, introduced what became the European Union Act to Parliament which makes provision for repealing the 1972 Act on "exit day", when enacted defined as 29 March 2019 at 11 p.m. but postponed by EU decision to either 22 May 2019 or 12 April 2019. When the European Communities came into being in 1958, the UK chose to remain aloof and instead join the alternative bloc, EFTA; the British government regretted its decision, in 1961, along with Denmark and Norway, the UK applied to join the three Communities. However, President Charles de Gaulle saw British membership as a Trojan horse for US influence, vetoed it; the four countries resubmitted their applications in 1967, the French veto was lifted upon Georges Pompidou succeeding de Gaulle in 1969. In 1970, accession negotiations took place between the UK Government, led by Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath, the European Communities and various European leaders. Despite disagreements over the CAP and the UK's relationship with the Commonwealth, terms were agreed.
In October 1971, after a lengthy Commons debate, MPs voted 356-244 in favour of joining the EEC. For the Treaty to take effect upon entry into the Communities on 1 January 1973, for the UK to embrace the EEC Institutions and Community law, an Act of Parliament was required. Only three days after the signing of the Treaty, a European Communities Bill of just 12 clauses was presented to the House of Commons by Geoffrey Rippon; the European Communities Act came into being, Edward Heath signed the Treaty of Accession in Brussels on 22 January 1972. Denmark and Ireland joined the Community on the same day, 1 January 1973, as the UK; the European Communities Bill was introduced the House of Commons for its first reading by Geoffrey Rippon, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 26 January 1972. On 17 February 1972, the House of Commons voted narrowly by 309-301 in favour of the Bill at its second reading, after three days of intense debate. Just before the vote the Prime Minister Edward Heath argued his case in the debate with the following words.
The Bill passed on to Committee Stage before its third reading. During this discussion in the House of Commons, MPs pointed out that the Government had structured the European Communities Bill so that Parliament could debate the technical issues about how the treaty enactment would occur but could not debate the treaty of accession itself and decried this sacrifice of Parliament's sovereignty to the Government's desire to join the European project. On 13 July 1972, the House of Commons voted 301-284 in favour of the Bill in its third and final reading before passing on to the House of Lords. Before the vote took place, Geoffrey Rippon argued in the House of Commons before the vote: The Bill passed to the House of Lords; the Act received Royal Assent on 17 October, the UK's instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Accession was deposited the next day with the Italian government as required by the Treaty. Since the Treaty specified its effective date as 1 January 1973 and the Act specified only "entry date" for its actions, the Act and the Treaty took effect 1 January 1973, when the United Kingdom became a member state of the European Communities along with Denmark and the Republic of Ireland.
The European Communities Act was the instrument whereby the UK Parliament effected the changes required by the Treaty of Accession by which the UK joined the European Union. Section 2 says "the Treaties are without further enactment to be given legal effect" in the UK, it enables, under section 2, UK government ministers to make regulations to transpose EU Directives and rulings of the European Court of Justice into UK law. The Treaty itself says the member states will conform themselves to the European Communities existing and future decisions; the Act and the Treaty of Accession have been interpreted by UK courts
2009 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
The European Parliament election was the United Kingdom's component of the 2009 European Parliament election, the voting for, held on Thursday 4 June 2009. The election was held concurrently with the 2009 local elections in England. In total, 72 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom using proportional representation. Notable outcomes were the significant drop in support for the Labour Party, who came third, the UK Independence Party finishing second in a major election for the first time in its history, coming level with Labour in terms of seats but ahead of them in terms of votes; this was the first time in British electoral history that a party in government had been outpolled in a national election by a party with no representation in the House of Commons. The BNP won two seats, its first in a nationwide election, it marked the first time the Scottish National Party won the largest share of the European election vote in Scotland, it was the first time since 1918 Labour had failed to come first in a Welsh election.
It was the Democratic Unionist Party's worst European election result, the first time an Irish Republican party, Sinn Féin, topped the poll in Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom elected 72 Members of the European Parliament using proportional representation; the United Kingdom was divided into twelve multi-member constituencies. The eleven of these regions which form Great Britain used a closed-list party list system method of proportional representation, calculated using the D'Hondt method. Northern Ireland used the Single Transferable Vote; the experimental use of all-postal ballots in four regions in 2004 was not repeated, resulting in a sharp reduction in turnout in those regions. As has been the case since 1999, the electoral constituencies were based on the government's nine English regions, Northern Ireland and Wales, creating a total of 12 constituencies; the Treaty of Nice fixed the number of MEPs for the whole European Parliament at 736. If the Lisbon Treaty had entered into force by June 2009 this figure would have been 73.
On 31 July 2007, in line with the required reduction in representation from the United Kingdom the number of members elected from each region was modified by the Boundary Commission and Electoral Commission, based on the size of the electorate in each region. The recommended changes were approved by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 2008. Changes in regional seat allocations 1Includes Gibraltar, the only British overseas territory, part of the EU. Conservative Christopher Beazley John Bowis Philip Bushill-Matthews Jonathan Evans – Became MP for Cardiff North in 2010 Chris Heaton-Harris – Became MP for Daventry in 2010 Caroline Jackson Neil Parish – Became MP for Tiverton and Honiton in 2010 John Purvis David Sumberg Labour Robert Evans Glenys Kinnock Eluned Morgan Gary Titley UKIP Jeffrey Titford John Whittaker Roger Knapman Liberal Democrat Elspeth Attwooll Emma Nicholson Independents Den Dover – Former Conservative MEP, expelled over his expenses. Robert Kilroy-Silk – Former UKIP MEP, created new party Veritas.
Ashley Mote – Former UKIP MEP, expelled for expenses fraud for which he was jailed. Tom Wise – Former UKIP MEP, expelled for expenses fraud for which he was jailed. In the run up to the election, several polling organisations carried out public opinion polling in regards to voting intentions in Great Britain. Results of such polls are displayed below. ComRes, ICM, Populus and YouGov are members of the British Polling Council, abide by its disclosure rules. BPIX is not a member of the BPC, does not publish detailed methodology and findings. † Includes Unionists. ‡ As the number of seats was reduced, these are notional changes estimated by the BBC. 1Joint ticket, ran in England as: The Christian Party - Christian Peoples Alliance. Turnout In Great Britain was 34.3%, with 15,137,202 votes out of a total electorate of 44,171,778. Most of the results of the election were announced on Sunday 7 June, after similar elections were held in the other 26 member states of the European Union. Scotland declared its result on Monday 8 June, as counting in the Western Isles was delayed due to observance of the Sabbath.
Great Britain kept to the European wide trend towards the right. The Labour Party, in its twelfth year as government of the United Kingdom, suffered a significant drop in support polling third, UKIP finishing second in a major election for the first time in its history, coming level with Labour in terms of seats but ahead of them in terms of votes; this was the first time in British electoral history that a party in government had been out polled in a national election by a party with no representation in the House of Commons. The Conservatives won in every region in Great Britain except the North East, where Labour won, Scotland, where the SNP won. Labour suffered most notably in Cornwall, where it came sixth behind Mebyon Kernow, in the wider South West region and South East where it polled fifth behind the Green Party; the BNP won two seats, their first in a national election. The share of the vote achieved by the English Democrats doubled; the turnout in Scotland was the lowest in the United Kingdom at 28.8%, with 1,104,512 vote