The Common Market Today-And Tomorrow

The Common Market Today-And Tomorrow

The Common Market Today-And Tomorrow

The Common Market Today-And Tomorrow

Excerpt

Great Britain stands today on the brink of one of the gravest decisionsof her whole history -- the decision whether or not to join the European Common Market. This decision will have incalculable consequences, for Britain, for Europe, the United States, the Commonwealth, and indeed the world. A European Community which includes Britain will be a very different organism from one which excludes her. The decision to join will set in train forces which will alter profoundly the face of the world in which we live.

Naturally there has been intense debate in Britain on this issue. Much of it has been characterised by two fallacies. The first fallacy is to assume that the problem concerns only Britain, the Common Market countries and the Commonwealth. The second fallacy is to assume that the European Community is a static organisation. In fact the movement for European integration, of which the Rome Treaty represents only one stage, is a continuing process of which the later stages are not only incomplete but to a large extent as yet indeterminate. This is true, not only of the internal organisation of the Community -- for example, whether it will evolve into a genuine federal United States of Europe on the American analogy, and if so how quickly -- but also of its external relations: what part, for example, will a new European super-power play in the world? Will it be a partner, or a rival, to the U.S.? Will it be restrictionist and inward-looking, or liberal and outward-looking? Will we see an expansion of the Community idea towards an Atlantic Partnership with the U.S., and if so what are the implications for U.S. policy, for NATO, for the underdeveloped countries and for the cold war?

These are the vital questions to be asked about the European experiment, which we have tried in this book to answer. They transcend in importance the question of whether Britain should or should not join. But the question of Britain's admission has in the last few months forced consideration of them into the open, and provides an obvious starting point for investigation of Europe's future. For British membership -- especially in view of the world-wide ramifications of the Commonwealth, and the close traditional links with the U.S. -- is bound to affect profoundly the structure, the objectives and the balance of forces of the European Community.

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