chapter  9
22 Pages

Britain, France, West Germany and the development of the European community

Its influence on developments did not correspond to its relative size and importance, for a number of reasons. Firstly, the main lines of development had been laid down and the crucial question was that of accommodation between Britain and the EC. After a short transition period the crucial issue for British governments was the question of Britain's budgetary contributions. Most Community spending was on agriculture, and Britain , with its small, relatively efficient agricultural sector oriented towards the domestic market, felt disadvantaged by a -system which paid out very large sums of money to encourage efficiency and promote agricultural exports. British hopes that this would be compensated by a massive Regional Fund, from which Britain's decaying industrial regions would benefit disproportionately, were dashed shortly after entry in 1974 because of world economic recession.