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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > March 2016 > The way we were

The way we were

Extracts from memoirs and diaries, chosen by Ian Irvine

The 1975 Referendum

On 5th June 1975, the first UK referendum took place on the question “Do you think the United Kingdom should remain part of the European Community (the Common Market)?”. The country had joined in 1973. The UK’s terms were renegotiated by Harold Wilson, the Prime Minister, and James Callaghan, the Foreign Secretary in 1974. Ian Mikardo, a longstanding left-wing MP and chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, observes:

I never believed at any time that [Wilson’s] position was genuinely agnostic… All those people with whom he was negotiating knew that in the final issue whatever he got or didn’t get he was going to say yes. That being so there was no great occasion for him to be given much, and he knew he wasn’t going to get much.”

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s March issue: Peter Pomerantsev describes the situation in Eastern Europe as the governments of Hungary and Poland turn right. Simon Tilford, from the Centre for European Reform, questions the substance of David Cameron’s EU deal and Philip Collins argues that Jeremy Corbyn is not fit for purpose. Also in this issue: Peter Kellner shows us that we are feeling more optimistic than during the last stages of the last Labour government and Jessica Abrahams explores the sexism of Valentine’s Day. Plus Justice Malala on South Africa and the Prospect Duel asks: "Should all immigrants learn English?"
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