chapter  6
18 Pages

‘Sound and comfortable men’

Peter Moon, Lord Bridges and Britain’s entry into the EEC
ByNick Thomas

This chapter explores the nature of their role by examining Britain's successful bid to enter the European Economic Community (EEC), a process in which the Foreign Secretary, Alec Douglas-Home, was sidelined not just by the Prime Minister but also by the appointment of successive Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster as the key players in the negotiating process. In a situation with considerable potential for fraught relationships over lines of demarcation, Sir Peter Moon and Lord Bridges acted as conduits of communications and helped to push the negotiation and planning process along. The chapter concentrates upon people and processes rather than the events of the EEC bid, focusing in particular upon two people who operated 'behind the scenes' and who have largely been left out of accounts of the period. It argues that if negotiations on EEC entry broke down Britain should announce that it would be consulting with its allies about the potential implications of this reverse.