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The British Labour Party from Kinnock to Blair: Europeanism and Europeanization

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This paper considers the ‘Europeanization’ of the Labour Party and the response of the party to the demands of European Union (EU) membership. The shift of the Labour Party to a much more positive EU stance has been one of the most significant developments in British party politics in the last fifteen years. Moreover, the acceptance of the European commitment has itself produced an important dynamic behind wider policy changes (Holden, 1999). Yet, the shift on Europe is all the more remarkable given that the Labour Party in the early 1980s appeared to be one of the least likely candidates in the then EC to be ‘Europeanized.’ Its problems in steering a united and consistent position on the major questions of European integration are well known. Nevertheless, the Blair Government today is the most pro-European administration to be found in London since Heath first took Britain into the EC in 1973.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/23177/

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