Teacher Essay

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------------------------------------------------- British, Irish and American History and Society S2013, ------------------------------------------------- Ole Nyboe Jensen, Student Card Number: 19960701, Teacher: David Harding Towards referendum: The Conservative position on Europe 1. Introduction 3 2.1.1. The troubled path towards membership 4 2.1.2. Accession: Problems and achievements 5 2.2.1. Identity 6 2.2.2. Euroscepticism: The Public and the Tories 7 2.3.1. Economic consequences of leaving the EU 9 2.3.2. Cameron’s speech 11 3. Conclusion 12 4. Literature, articles and sources 13 Appendix A 14 Appendix B 15 1. Introduction On the 23rd of January 2013 Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech on Britain’s relationship with the EU. Cameron stated that Britain would seek to change the course of the EU, and that this would be an in-out referendum by 2017. The speech and the reactions to it have reignited an ongoing debate about Britain and Europe: Does Britain belong to an EU, which on the one hand seems to be out of touch with the wishes of the British people and on the other hand as necessary to Britain’s political and economic interests? Considering that the public has not been asked about Britain’s EU membership since 1975, the speech could be seen as response to a widespread unease in the public about Britain’s EU membership. The immediate reactions to Cameron’s speech in the Conservative party were mixed. Both the Conservative Eurosceptic backbenchers and the pro-Europeans praised him for making the referendum into an in-out choice. Other Conservatives fear that the party will lose ground to New Labour in the 2015 general election. The continuing popularity of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), whose political platform is built around its opposition to Britain’s membership of the EU, creates concerns among

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