About our UK/EU news
Latest news on matters concerning the United Kingdom and European Union, including relations between the two, as well as top UK-EU stories.
Relations between the EU (and its predecessors) and the UK began as early as 1963 when the UK applied to join the European Economic Community (EEC), this was vetoed by the then French President Charles de Gaulle. A second British application to join in 1967 was likewise vetoed by the French. The UK finally accessed the EC in 1973, with a referendum confirming its membership in 1975.
Tensions between the UK and EC began to accumulate over the question of sovereignty, beginning in the 1980’s with the Delors Commission’s push for European integration and British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, most notably with the 1988 Bruges Speech. Euroscepticism featured in British politics following the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, coming into force in 1993, which created the European Union.
Euroscepticism began to rise in the UK following the 2008 financial crisis with the rise of anti-European membership parties like UKIP. Following UKIP’s victory in the 2014 European Parliament elections, the Cameron government promised, on getting an electoral majority, it would hold an in-out referendum on European membership. The referendum, held in 2016, resulted in the decision for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
Relations between the UK and the EU have since been defined by Brexit and the negotiations and summits held over it. A new deal was agreed in principle between the EU and the British government on 27th February 2023 to change the Northern Ireland Protocol, originally agreed in 2019.