European Union - Key Dates & Docs

Key Dates

1945 - Second World War ends. (Deaths in EU countries were Germany 7 , Poland 6 , France 0.6 , Italy 0.5 and UK 0.5 million.)
1952 - Treaty of Paris (1951) between 6 countries - Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - enters into force. European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) created. The aim was to prevent territorial disputes over natural resources - one of the causes of the Second World War.
1958 - Treaties of Rome (1957) enter into force. European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and European Economic Community (EEC - later renamed the European Community - the EC) created.
1973 - Denmark, Ireland and the UK join the communities. Total now 9.
1974/5 - Greek, Portuguese and Spanish military dictatorships end ... whereupon ...
1981 - ... Greece joins, and then ...
1986 - ... Portugal and Spain also join. Total now 12.
1987 - Single European Act (1986) enters into force.
1993 - Maastricht Treaty (1992) enters into force. European Union (EU) created.
1993 - Single Market ‘completed’.
1995 - Austria, Finland and Sweden join the EU, bringing the total to 15.
1999 - Amsterdam Treaty (1997) enters into force.
1999 - Economic and Monetary Union starts.
2000 - Pre-enlargement Inter-Governmental Conference (IGC) starts.
2002 - Treaty of Paris (and hence the ECSC) expires.
2002 - Introduction of Euro coins and notes.
2004 - Enlargement:- Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia all join, bringing the total to 25.
2007 - Bulgaria and Romania join, bringing the total to 27.
2010 - The Lisbon Treaty (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union - TFEU) comes into force. European Community and European Atomic Energy Community abolished.
2013 - Croatia joins, bringing the total to 28.
2016 - (23 June) UK votes to leave the EU
2017 - (29 March) UK gives notice of its intention to leave the EU
2017 - (8 December) UK and EU agree outcome of Phase 1 of Brexit negotiations


Here are some speeches etc. which provide a detailed analysis of the background to the Brexit process.

Most of the above documents were written by those worried about the practical implications of Brexit. I am not aware of - but would be delighted to hear of - any similar analysis being published by committed Brexiteers.

In the absence of such analysis, it appears that the more thoughtful Brexiteers accept that Brexit will lead to significant short/medium term economic and other costs, but they are not, for obvious reasons, willing to say so. But some are, to their credit, happy to stress that their stance is principled, and they believe in the virtues of Brexit, whatever the cost. One hardliner was reported by the FT to have said "I don't think we'll be poorer out, but if you told me my family would have to eat grass I'd still have voted to leave". And here is a typical Twitter exchange:

I have prepared a summary of post-referendum economic performance etc.


Ex-No. Policy Unit Daniel Korski tweeted his agreement with much of what Mr Rogers said in his first (2017) speech but added the following relatively minor corrections to the detail:

  1. The Policy Unit did push more radical ideas for Parliamentary sovereignty but were shot down by UKRep - in the form of one Ivan Rogers!
  2. The Policy Unit also obsessed about ECJ powers etc. but again were shot down by FCO and Sir Ivan Rogers.
  3. Sir Ivan's timings of the Carswell and Reckless resignations were wrong.
  4. The UK did secure the EU budget reductions which Sir Ivan thought unnegotiable.
  5. The British public mainly favoured the Single Market even if they didn't know what it meant, but then No.10 responded ineffectively to Eurosceptic criticisms of it.
  6. On page 21, the Open Europe paper preceded Mats Persson's appointment, and getting changes into secondary legislation did happen and flew with the EU27 in the way the UK wanted.


Martin Stanley

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