• Sweden edition

The Diplomatic Dispatch

The British Ambassador to Sweden blogs on The Local

The UK in the EU: 40 years on; assessing impact

Britain joined the EU (or the EEC as it then was) on 1 January 1972.

To say the least the EU (and the UK) has changed a lot since then. For most of that period there’s been a lively debate on what the impact of EU membership is on the UK.

Our government is clear that EU membership is in the UK’s national interest. It is central to how we create jobs, expand trade and protect our interests around the world.

But Europe is changing. We don’t know what the EU will end up looking like at the end of this crisis.

This year the Government decided to launch a detailed review to examine what impact the EU has on the UK in more detail than ever before.

The review will look at the scope of the EU’s competences (the power to act in particular areas conferred by the EU Treaties) as they affect the UK, how they are used, and what that means for Britain and our national interests. The review will examine about 30 areas of EU competence between now and the end of 2014.  It will be divided into four ‘semesters’, each containing a number of individual reports.  Reports will be published at the end of that semester.

The first semester will run from autumn 2012 to summer 2013. In the first semester Departments will produce reports on: taxation; animal health and welfare and food safety; health; development; and foreign policy. The first semester will also include an overview on the single market. The reports will be analytical in nature. They will draw on relevant evidence received in response to a ‘call for evidence’ which Departments will issue to prepare each report shortly after the start of each semester.  Departments will seek evidence from a wide range of interested parties including Parliament, business, civil society, the public, the Devolved Administrations, foreign governments and EU Institutions.

The review is intended to provide evidence to inform the debate in the UK, not least in the run-up to the next election, rather to lead immediately to any specific policy recommendations. This is by far the most serious and extensive analysis of what the EU means for the UK – or probably for any Member State – ever undertaken.

We hope it will also be of interest to other countries, including Sweden, given the big issues Europe needs to face about remaining competitive and effective in a rapidly changing continent and world.

The FCO website will contain up-to-date information on the progress of the review, including which reports are currently in train and details of how to contribute evidence. Please do take a look!

Report abuse »

Tags: ,

Blog updates

31 July

Calling a speedo a speedo (Blogweiser) »

"There are a lot of speedos on Europe’s beaches. Some European males are evidently more comfortable sporting small, stretchy suits on public beaches than I would be. I accept it may be nice to have swimwear that’s not long and cumbersome. A speedo is maybe also good for tanning. But strolling around town in a..." READ »


27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: