The decades since the end of the Second World War have seen massive change sweep across Britain’s social, cultural and political landscape. Yet throughout this period, one thing has remained constant and unchanging: the thorny question of our relationship with Europe.
Europe, and Britain’s place in or out of it, has always been a hugely divisive factor – on either side of the political spectrum – creating warring camps in both the Labour and Conservative parties. Famous Europhiles to put their heads above the parapets over the years have included Conservatives Ted Heath and David Cameron, as well as Tony Blair for Labour, while leading Europhobes count among their number the former Conservative Prime Ministers Anthony Eden and Margaret Thatcher.
Born out of a series of Oxford University lectures devised by the former director of the Number 10 Policy Unit, Andrew Adonis, Half in, Half Out presents a comprehensive and enlightening look at Britain's Prime Ministers of the past seven decades – and explores their often hugely differing attitudes towards our neighbours on the other side of the Channel.
Starting with the premiership of Sir Winston Churchill, and ending with Theresa May, the book examines in fascinating and forensic detail the crucial relationships between our leaders and Europe.
With each chapter written by a prominent political figure, including Sir Nicholas Soames, David Owen and Rachel Reeves, the book provides some hugely revealing portraits of Britain's former leaders, shining a light on their sometimes warm, and at other times downright hostile, attitudes towards Europe.
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