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THE HERITAGE OF THE 1975 EUROPEAN REFERENDUM FOR THE BRITISH TRADE UNION MOVEMENT

THE HERITAGE OF THE 1975 EUROPEAN REFERENDUM FOR THE BRITISH TRADE UNION MOVEMENT This paper utilises the 1975 UK referendum on continued membership of the Common Market (latterly the European Union) to examine the evolution of British trade union policy relating to the European Union. The referendum generated debate surrounding issues of national economic management, political sovereignty and the optimum way to pursue progressive employment and social policy. The lack of focus upon the referendum campaign by the trade union movement, and the resultant ineffective campaigning, is explained by a combination of perceived prioritisation of national policy priorities and internal division on the issue. Many of the issues raised have never been satisfactorily resolved, resulting in subsequent periodic oscillation in trade union strategy. Thus, an understanding of the factors pertaining to the referendum campaign has the potential to inform the contemporary debate. JEL: N0, N44, J50, J58, F59 Keywords: Trade Unions, British Trade Unions, European integration, European Union, European Referendum, 1975 Referendum http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Economics, Management, and Financial Markets Addleton Academic Publishers

THE HERITAGE OF THE 1975 EUROPEAN REFERENDUM FOR THE BRITISH TRADE UNION MOVEMENT

Economics, Management, and Financial Markets , Volume 5 (4): 133-150 – Jan 1, 2011

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Publisher
Addleton Academic Publishers
Copyright
© 2009 Addleton Academic Publishers
ISSN
1842-3191
eISSN
1938-212X
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper utilises the 1975 UK referendum on continued membership of the Common Market (latterly the European Union) to examine the evolution of British trade union policy relating to the European Union. The referendum generated debate surrounding issues of national economic management, political sovereignty and the optimum way to pursue progressive employment and social policy. The lack of focus upon the referendum campaign by the trade union movement, and the resultant ineffective campaigning, is explained by a combination of perceived prioritisation of national policy priorities and internal division on the issue. Many of the issues raised have never been satisfactorily resolved, resulting in subsequent periodic oscillation in trade union strategy. Thus, an understanding of the factors pertaining to the referendum campaign has the potential to inform the contemporary debate. JEL: N0, N44, J50, J58, F59 Keywords: Trade Unions, British Trade Unions, European integration, European Union, European Referendum, 1975 Referendum

Journal

Economics, Management, and Financial MarketsAddleton Academic Publishers

Published: Jan 1, 2011

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