Britain and the EU: an awkward marriage headed for divorce

Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher was a cheerleader for EEC membership, but after becoming prime minister from 1979 she was soon riling her European colleaguesBritain’s break-up with Europe would be the culmination of decades of half-hearted and often hostile relations with neighbouring countries. “Britain has never really internalised the European project because of its very different history during the 20th century — it is less frightened of the consequences of leaving,” Robert Tombs, a history professor at Cambridge University, told AFP. “One face is a hostile, sceptical and largely domestic one that has helped drive euroscepticism in Britain,” said Tim Oliver of the London School of Economics.

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