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Britain and the BombNuclear Diplomacy, 1964-1970$
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David James Gill

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804786584

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804786584.001.0001

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Proliferation Politics

Proliferation Politics

(p.171) 6 Proliferation Politics
Britain and the Bomb

David James Gill

Stanford University Press

This chapter explores the later stages of the British government’s pursuit of a nuclear non-proliferation treaty. By 1967, a desire for entry into the EEC had become a major influence on the content and conduct of British nuclear non-proliferation policy. Wilson intentionally embraced a secondary role in the negotiation process, leaving the running to the superpowers, in order to avoid conflict with the countries of the EEC and thereby protect Britain’s application for membership. Although membership was not achieved in 1967, a commitment to future entry continued to influence nonproliferation policy. Indeed, a desire for future membership of the EEC, alongside giving renewed impetus to the NPT, helps to explain the British government’s decision to become the first nuclear weapon state to ratify the treaty.

Keywords:   Non-Proliferation Treaty, European Economic Community, Superpower diplomacy, Devaluation

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