Hope to Project Fear: Timeline

From hope for peace to ‘Project Fear’’; the UK’s relationship with the EU over the years has been turbulent. But what led us to this potential break up?

At the end of World War II, devastated by the effects of extreme nationalism, world leaders decided that global integration would be a step towards ending war.

Winston Churchill himself idolised the notion of countries working together, ‘a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom… a kind of United States of Europe”. But it would still be a long time before the UK would finally call itself part of the European Union.

UK and the EU Timeline:

1980’s – Britain and Brussels become evermore divided, as Margaret Thatcher tries to negotiate a permanent rebate for Britian on its contributions.

1992 – Norman Lamont, Chancellor of the Exchequer was forced to announce Britain was leaving the Exchange Rate Mechanism after fighting off intense speculation over currency. This was one of the lowest points in the relationship between Britain and Europe and was nicknamed ‘Black Wednesday”.

1993 – The European Union is officially founded on November 1 when the Maastricht Treaty comes into force.

2011- The Euro Crisis begins and effectively stops Britain from adopting the currency. In December, David Cameron blocks the new European Treaty for budgets.

2012 – The European Union is awarded The Nobel Peace Prize.

2015 – After calls from Eurosceptics for more independence, David Cameron announces there will be a referendum on our EU membership

2016 – Campaign tactics are nicknamed ‘Project Fear’ in the run up to the referendum.


Rhiannon Everton

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