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Margaret Thatcher and British Opposition to European Integration: Saint or Sinner?

Usherwood, S (2011) Margaret Thatcher and British Opposition to European Integration: Saint or Sinner? In: Opposition to the European Union. Franz Steiner Verlag.

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Abstract

For many in the British anti-EU movement, Margaret Thatcher holds a status more akin to a divine figure than a former Prime Minister: similarly, for many outside observers, Thatcher is the personification of that movement, a querulous and negative figure, out of step with the tide of history. This chapter argues such views are both misguided and unhelpful. The process of abstraction of Thatcher's actions during the 1980s into an image of 'St. Margaret' or of 'Thatcher, the little-Englander' obscures the way that she chose to engage with the integration process. Two key points stand out here. Firstly, Thatcher's European policy was informed by a fundamental pragmatic approach, focused on the short-term and on problem-solving and thus poorly suited to the more idealist continental style. Secondly, the very process of lionisation highlights the limits to Thatcher's agency: if we are to understand the crystallisation of opposition to the EU in the 1990s, then we have to see Thatcher as only one part of the process.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Politics
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Usherwood, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 2011
Additional Information : Full text may be available at a later date.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 06 Oct 2015 13:44
Last Modified : 06 Oct 2015 13:44
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/808612

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