The keys to Britain's EU membership

Britain is the only EU country to have opted out of both Schengen and the euro, choosing to control its own borders and currencyEuropean Union leaders meet Thursday for what promises to be a tense two-day summit to discuss new terms for Britain’s membership of the EU. Here is a summary of what it means to be a member of the EU and how Britain stands apart. The EU traces its origins to the 1950s, when half a dozen countries in continental Europe launched the first moves of economic integration after the devastation of World War II. The European Economic Community (EEC) emerged from this process in 1958, with Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands as the founder members.

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