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Planning for Brexit: the case of the 1975 Referendum

Evans, Adam 2018. Planning for Brexit: the case of the 1975 Referendum. Political Quarterly 89 (1) , pp. 127-133. 10.1111/1467-923X.12412

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Both during and since the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, concerns were raised as to the absence of contingency planning within Whitehall. This situation was in direct contrast with 1975, when extensive planning took place for the possibility of a vote to leave the European Community. However, there has been little in the way of detailed analysis of the contingency planning undertaken in 1975. Using archival evidence of the Wilson government's preparations, this article highlights the complex challenge that withdrawal would have posed for the UK in 1975, the tensions that existed between the political imperative for a swift withdrawal, in the event of a leave vote, and the civil service's concerns as to whether such a withdrawal was deliverable. Finally, it shows how dependent the UK's position would have been on the approach taken by the other members of the EC.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0032-3179
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 13:44

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