Europe, the UK and De Gaulle

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Sertorio
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Europe, the UK and De Gaulle

Post by Sertorio » Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:31 am

In 1963, after the UK asked to join the then EEC, De Gaulle had this to say:
(...)

Thereupon Great Britain posed her candidature to the Common Market. She did it after having earlier refused to participate in the communities we are now building, as well as after creating a free trade area with six other States, and, finally, after having — I may well say it (the negotiations held at such length on this subject will be recalled) — after having put some pressure on the Six to prevent a real beginning being made in the application of the Common Market. If England asks in turn to enter, but on her own conditions, this poses without doubt to each of the six States,
and poses to England, problems of a very great dimension.

England in effect is insular, she is maritime, she is linked through her exchanges, her markets, her supply
lines to the most diverse and often the most distant countries; she pursues essentially industrial and
commercial activities, and only slight agricultural ones. She has in all her doings very marked and very
original habits and traditions.

In short, the nature, the structure, the very situation (conjuncture) that are England’s differ profoundly from
those of the continentals. What is to be done in order that England, as she lives, produces and trades, can be
incorporated into the Common Market, as it has been conceived and as it functions? For example, the means
by which the people of Great Britain are fed and which are in fact the importation of foodstuffs bought
cheaply in the two Americas and in the former dominions, at the same time giving, granting considerable
subsidies to English farmers? These means are obviously incompatible with the system which the Six have
established quite naturally for themselves.

The system of the Six — this constitutes making a whole of the agricultural produce of the whole
Community, in strictly fixing their prices, in prohibiting subsidies, in organising their consumption between
all the participants, and in imposing on each of its participants payment to the Community of any saving
they would achieve in fetching their food from outside instead of eating what the Common Market has to
offer. Once again, what is to be done to bring England, as she is, into this system?

One might sometimes have believed that our English friends, in posing their candidature to the Common
Market, were agreeing to transform themselves to the point of applying all the conditions which are accepted
and practised by the Six. But the question, to know whether Great Britain can now place herself like the
Continent and with it inside a tariff which is genuinely common, to renounce all Commonwealth
preferences, to cease any pretence that her agriculture be privileged, and, more than that, to treat her
engagements with other countries of the free trade area as null and void — that question is the whole
question.

It cannot be said that it is yet resolved. Will it be so one day? Obviously only England can answer. The
question is even further posed since after England other States which are, I repeat, linked to her through the
free trade area, for the same reasons as Britain, would like or wish to enter the Common Market.
It must be agreed that first the entry of Great Britain, and then these States, will completely change the
whole of the actions, the agreements, the compensation, the rules which have already been established
between the Six, because all these States, like Britain, have very important peculiarities. Then it will be
another Common Market whose construction ought to be envisaged; but one which would be taken to
11 and then 13 and then perhaps 18 would no longer resemble, without any doubt, the one which the Six
built.

Further, this community, increasing in such fashion, would see itself faced with problems of economic
relations with all kinds of other States, and first with the United States. It is to be foreseen that the cohesion
of its members, who would be very numerous and diverse, would not endure for long, and that ultimately it
would appear as a colossal Atlantic community under American dependence and direction, and which would
quickly have absorbed the community of Europe.

https://www.cvce.eu/collections/unit-co ... en&overlay
In 1967, after the UK asked for a second time to join the EEC, France (De Gaulle) had this to say:
(...)

Monetary parity and solidarity are the essential conditions of the Common Market and assuredly could not be extended to our neighbors across the Channel, unless the pound appears, one day, in a new situation and such that its future value appears assured; unless it also frees itself of the character of reserve currency; unless, finally, the burden of Great Britain's deficitary balances within the sterling area disappear. When and how will this happen? What is true, at this very moment, from the economic standpoint, would also be true, eventually, from the political standpoint. The idea, the hope which, from the beginning, led the Six continental countries to unite, tended without any doubt toward the formation of a unit which would be European in all respects, and, because of this would become capable not only of carrying its own weight in production and trade, but also of acting one day politically by itself and for itself toward anyone. Considering the special relations that tie the British to America, with the advantage and also the dependence that results for them; considering the existence of the Commonwealth and their preferential relations with it; considering the special commitment that they still have in various parts of the world and which, basically, distinguishes them from the continentals, we see that the policy of the latter, as soon as they have one, would undoubtedly concur, in certain cases, with the policy of the former. But we cannot see how both policies could merge, unless the British assumed again, particularly as regards defense, complete command of themselves, or else if the continentals renounced forever a European Europe.[]In truth, it really seems that the change in the situation of the British in relation to the Six, once we would be ready by common consent to proceed with it, might consist of a choice between three issues.Either recognize that, as things stand at present, their entry into the Common Market, with all the exceptions that it would not fail to be accompanied by, with the irruption of entirely new facts, new both in nature and in quantity, that would necessarily result from this entry, with the participation of several other States that would certainly be its corollary, would amount to necessitating the building of an entirely new edifice, scrapping nearly all of that which has just been built. What, then, would we end tip with if not, perhaps, the creation of a free-trade area of Western Europe, pending that of the Atlantic area, which would deprive our continent of any real personality?

(...)

https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/196 ... non-uk.asp
De Gaulle's arguments were very much valid and the UK should have never been allowed to join the EEC/EU. Now the UK is leaving - after having made it nearly impossible for Europe to unite politically - and we see that De Gaulle was indeed right. Maybe we will now be able to move forward, unite politically - maybe as a confederation - and finally get rid of the poisonous alliance with the US.

neverfail
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Location: Singapore

Re: Europe, the UK and De Gaulle

Post by neverfail » Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:48 am

Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:31 am
De Gaulle's arguments were very much valid and the UK should have never been allowed to join the EEC/EU. Now the UK is leaving - after having made it nearly impossible for Europe to unite politically - and we see that De Gaulle was indeed right. Maybe we will now be able to move forward, unite politically - maybe as a confederation - and finally get rid of the poisonous alliance with the US.
I vividly recall the words of an English Young Conservative visiting Sydney who I met at a party in December 1972 - just months before Britain was due to join.

His words were "we are going in for the money".

(No further comment needed.)

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Sertorio
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Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Europe, the UK and De Gaulle

Post by Sertorio » Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:54 am

neverfail wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:48 am
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:31 am
De Gaulle's arguments were very much valid and the UK should have never been allowed to join the EEC/EU. Now the UK is leaving - after having made it nearly impossible for Europe to unite politically - and we see that De Gaulle was indeed right. Maybe we will now be able to move forward, unite politically - maybe as a confederation - and finally get rid of the poisonous alliance with the US.
I vividly recall the words of an English Young Conservative visiting Sydney who I met at a party in December 1972 - just months before Britain was due to join.

His words were "we are going in for the money".

(No further comment needed.)
I'm not surprised. That has always been the British motivation throughout the centuries. And that's why the UK has no place in Europe.

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Milo
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:14 pm

Re: Europe, the UK and De Gaulle

Post by Milo » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:41 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:54 am
neverfail wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:48 am
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:31 am
De Gaulle's arguments were very much valid and the UK should have never been allowed to join the EEC/EU. Now the UK is leaving - after having made it nearly impossible for Europe to unite politically - and we see that De Gaulle was indeed right. Maybe we will now be able to move forward, unite politically - maybe as a confederation - and finally get rid of the poisonous alliance with the US.
I vividly recall the words of an English Young Conservative visiting Sydney who I met at a party in December 1972 - just months before Britain was due to join.

His words were "we are going in for the money".

(No further comment needed.)
I'm not surprised. That has always been the British motivation throughout the centuries. And that's why the UK has no place in Europe.
Yes, the UK was going broke on it.

Now all the Europeans are free to not have any money.

Let's see how long that lasts.

User avatar
Sertorio
Posts: 3266
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Europe, the UK and De Gaulle

Post by Sertorio » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:50 pm

Milo wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:41 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:54 am
neverfail wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:48 am
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:31 am
De Gaulle's arguments were very much valid and the UK should have never been allowed to join the EEC/EU. Now the UK is leaving - after having made it nearly impossible for Europe to unite politically - and we see that De Gaulle was indeed right. Maybe we will now be able to move forward, unite politically - maybe as a confederation - and finally get rid of the poisonous alliance with the US.
I vividly recall the words of an English Young Conservative visiting Sydney who I met at a party in December 1972 - just months before Britain was due to join.

His words were "we are going in for the money".

(No further comment needed.)
I'm not surprised. That has always been the British motivation throughout the centuries. And that's why the UK has no place in Europe.
Yes, the UK was going broke on it.

Now all the Europeans are free to not have any money.

Let's see how long that lasts.
As Canadians, you are mostly the offspring of Europeans. Don't think that you are any better than us...

User avatar
Milo
Posts: 2422
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:14 pm

Re: Europe, the UK and De Gaulle

Post by Milo » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:18 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:50 pm
Milo wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:41 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:54 am
neverfail wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:48 am
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:31 am
De Gaulle's arguments were very much valid and the UK should have never been allowed to join the EEC/EU. Now the UK is leaving - after having made it nearly impossible for Europe to unite politically - and we see that De Gaulle was indeed right. Maybe we will now be able to move forward, unite politically - maybe as a confederation - and finally get rid of the poisonous alliance with the US.
I vividly recall the words of an English Young Conservative visiting Sydney who I met at a party in December 1972 - just months before Britain was due to join.

His words were "we are going in for the money".

(No further comment needed.)
I'm not surprised. That has always been the British motivation throughout the centuries. And that's why the UK has no place in Europe.
Yes, the UK was going broke on it.

Now all the Europeans are free to not have any money.

Let's see how long that lasts.
As Canadians, you are mostly the offspring of Europeans. Don't think that you are any better than us...
You do use 'the royal us' a lot!

User avatar
cassowary
Posts: 3710
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:30 pm

Re: Europe, the UK and De Gaulle

Post by cassowary » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:34 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:31 am
In 1963, after the UK asked to join the then EEC, De Gaulle had this to say:
(...)

Thereupon Great Britain posed her candidature to the Common Market. She did it after having earlier refused to participate in the communities we are now building, as well as after creating a free trade area with six other States, and, finally, after having — I may well say it (the negotiations held at such length on this subject will be recalled) — after having put some pressure on the Six to prevent a real beginning being made in the application of the Common Market. If England asks in turn to enter, but on her own conditions, this poses without doubt to each of the six States,
and poses to England, problems of a very great dimension.

England in effect is insular, she is maritime, she is linked through her exchanges, her markets, her supply
lines to the most diverse and often the most distant countries; she pursues essentially industrial and
commercial activities, and only slight agricultural ones. She has in all her doings very marked and very
original habits and traditions.

In short, the nature, the structure, the very situation (conjuncture) that are England’s differ profoundly from
those of the continentals. What is to be done in order that England, as she lives, produces and trades, can be
incorporated into the Common Market, as it has been conceived and as it functions? For example, the means
by which the people of Great Britain are fed and which are in fact the importation of foodstuffs bought
cheaply in the two Americas and in the former dominions, at the same time giving, granting considerable
subsidies to English farmers? These means are obviously incompatible with the system which the Six have
established quite naturally for themselves.

The system of the Six — this constitutes making a whole of the agricultural produce of the whole
Community, in strictly fixing their prices, in prohibiting subsidies, in organising their consumption between
all the participants, and in imposing on each of its participants payment to the Community of any saving
they would achieve in fetching their food from outside instead of eating what the Common Market has to
offer. Once again, what is to be done to bring England, as she is, into this system?

One might sometimes have believed that our English friends, in posing their candidature to the Common
Market, were agreeing to transform themselves to the point of applying all the conditions which are accepted
and practised by the Six. But the question, to know whether Great Britain can now place herself like the
Continent and with it inside a tariff which is genuinely common, to renounce all Commonwealth
preferences, to cease any pretence that her agriculture be privileged, and, more than that, to treat her
engagements with other countries of the free trade area as null and void — that question is the whole
question.

It cannot be said that it is yet resolved. Will it be so one day? Obviously only England can answer. The
question is even further posed since after England other States which are, I repeat, linked to her through the
free trade area, for the same reasons as Britain, would like or wish to enter the Common Market.
It must be agreed that first the entry of Great Britain, and then these States, will completely change the
whole of the actions, the agreements, the compensation, the rules which have already been established
between the Six, because all these States, like Britain, have very important peculiarities. Then it will be
another Common Market whose construction ought to be envisaged; but one which would be taken to
11 and then 13 and then perhaps 18 would no longer resemble, without any doubt, the one which the Six
built.

Further, this community, increasing in such fashion, would see itself faced with problems of economic
relations with all kinds of other States, and first with the United States. It is to be foreseen that the cohesion
of its members, who would be very numerous and diverse, would not endure for long, and that ultimately it
would appear as a colossal Atlantic community under American dependence and direction, and which would
quickly have absorbed the community of Europe.

https://www.cvce.eu/collections/unit-co ... en&overlay
In 1967, after the UK asked for a second time to join the EEC, France (De Gaulle) had this to say:
(...)

Monetary parity and solidarity are the essential conditions of the Common Market and assuredly could not be extended to our neighbors across the Channel, unless the pound appears, one day, in a new situation and such that its future value appears assured; unless it also frees itself of the character of reserve currency; unless, finally, the burden of Great Britain's deficitary balances within the sterling area disappear. When and how will this happen? What is true, at this very moment, from the economic standpoint, would also be true, eventually, from the political standpoint. The idea, the hope which, from the beginning, led the Six continental countries to unite, tended without any doubt toward the formation of a unit which would be European in all respects, and, because of this would become capable not only of carrying its own weight in production and trade, but also of acting one day politically by itself and for itself toward anyone. Considering the special relations that tie the British to America, with the advantage and also the dependence that results for them; considering the existence of the Commonwealth and their preferential relations with it; considering the special commitment that they still have in various parts of the world and which, basically, distinguishes them from the continentals, we see that the policy of the latter, as soon as they have one, would undoubtedly concur, in certain cases, with the policy of the former. But we cannot see how both policies could merge, unless the British assumed again, particularly as regards defense, complete command of themselves, or else if the continentals renounced forever a European Europe.[]In truth, it really seems that the change in the situation of the British in relation to the Six, once we would be ready by common consent to proceed with it, might consist of a choice between three issues.Either recognize that, as things stand at present, their entry into the Common Market, with all the exceptions that it would not fail to be accompanied by, with the irruption of entirely new facts, new both in nature and in quantity, that would necessarily result from this entry, with the participation of several other States that would certainly be its corollary, would amount to necessitating the building of an entirely new edifice, scrapping nearly all of that which has just been built. What, then, would we end tip with if not, perhaps, the creation of a free-trade area of Western Europe, pending that of the Atlantic area, which would deprive our continent of any real personality?

(...)

https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/196 ... non-uk.asp
De Gaulle's arguments were very much valid and the UK should have never been allowed to join the EEC/EU. Now the UK is leaving - after having made it nearly impossible for Europe to unite politically - and we see that De Gaulle was indeed right. Maybe we will now be able to move forward, unite politically - maybe as a confederation - and finally get rid of the poisonous alliance with the US.
Looks like the EU is moving closer to the US.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... trade-deal
The Imp :D

neverfail
Posts: 4781
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Europe, the UK and De Gaulle

Post by neverfail » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:24 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:50 pm

As Canadians, you are mostly the offspring of Europeans. Don't think that you are any better than us...
I get this strange impression of Canada:

In their eastern (Atlantic side) provinces Canada still seems to exhibit traditions that reflect its colonial/immigrant roots: Quebec (French); Nova Scotia (Scottish); Newfoundland (Irish) and Ontario (Tory American?). Yet I do not get the impression that people in their four western provinces are like that. On its western side Canadians seem to come together and "fuse" into a single, alloyed people.

Divided in the east but unified in the west?

You know what? Those Canadians of the west, despite their American sounding accents still come across as surprisingly akin to we Australians.

neverfail
Posts: 4781
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Europe, the UK and De Gaulle

Post by neverfail » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:44 pm

cassowary wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:34 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:31 am
In 1963, after the UK asked to join the then EEC, De Gaulle had this to say:

"England in effect is insular, she is maritime, she is linked through her exchanges, her markets, her supply
lines to the most diverse and often the most distant countries; she pursues essentially industrial and
commercial activities, and only slight agricultural ones. She has in all her doings very marked and very
original habits and traditions
."

De Gaulle spend over four of the WW2 years as an exile from his occupied country living in England so he had the opportunity to get to know the English well.

The 2016 Brexit vote exposed the fissures in British society for all to see.

Greater London is cosmopolitan and recorded a majority vote to remain. The City has centuries of tradition doing business with continental Europe and the rest of the world as well. So it made sense to most Londoners for the UK to remain within the EU so their city could continue to prosper through the association. Do not upset the gravy train. But London is not the whole of England.

It is England ex-London: the England dotted with provincial townships and rural shires whose mass of votes recorded the Brexit majority that no doubt prompted Charles De Gaulle to see English society as insular. To many who dwell in this other England the benefits of their country belonging to the EU would by and large have seemed obscure, nebulous; but the costs of doing so looked tangible and immediate.

:lol: If you are provincial English then never make the mistake of looking on the bright side of life. :D

neverfail
Posts: 4781
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 am
Location: Singapore

Re: an early benefit of BREXIT?

Post by neverfail » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:33 am

Australia is already reaping some incidental benefit from BREXIT.

I am about to watch on TV part 2 of Griff's Great Australian rail trip. It is one of an unprecedented flurry of recent UK productions with an Australian theme. UK actress Julie Bradbury has produced a series exploring this country; Jan MacDonald likewise has produced and compared cruise trips around our coast; Chris Tarrant has done a rail journey from south to north via The Ghan; and to cap it off the first of Michael Portillo's Australian rail journeys id yp be screened on our television tomorrow.

To me all of this (market demand?) speaks of a renewed interest in things Australian in the UK.

When Britain joined the EU's predecessor organisation back in 1973; for years afterwards the Commonwealth of Nations became unfashionable to the Brits (I was there) while the European continent became chic'. We Australians of course became unfashionable along with the rest of the (so old hat) Commonwealth. Now that their infatuation with the EU has been shed the poms are at last re-discovering that they have kinfolk abroad after all.

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