The struggle for power: Britain and euratom 1955-63

Stuart A. Butler

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Although many historians have explored British reactions to the formation of supranational institutions on continental Europe, their work takes a very general view. The European Communities, made up of the European Economic Community (EEC), European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), and European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) were however separate organisations founded by separate treaties, and the British responded differently to each. From early beginnings in 1955 it will become clear that most British officials were not enthused by the prospect of joining Euratom, believing that British advances in nuclear technology meant that membership would only serve as a drag on already strained resources. British ministers however pushed for the wider picture to be taken into account and largely accepted that membership of Euratom was necessary if Britain were to join any of the Communities. Throughout 1955-63 Britain struggled to come to terms with its perceived decline and officials clashed as Britain arrived at a new balance between independence and integration. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-341
Number of pages17
JournalInternational History Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2014


  • European integration
  • History of science and technology
  • Modern British history


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