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date: 16 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article uses a temporal perspective to fully understand the nature of change in the British government's relations with the European Union (EU). It first examines the reason for Britain's awkwardness, concentrating on the period 1987–97. Moreover, it attempts to document and account for a number of gradual changes that has taken place in Britain's relations with the EU over the last decade or so. It specifically deals with the alterations to the international and European context that has benefited British diplomacy since 1997. The depoliticization of Europe at the domestic level reflects in part a conscious strategy by political agents at the top of the Blair government. It has been argued that a subtle change has taken place in the British government's relations with the EU, and that this trend is the result of a complex interplay of institutional and agential factors.

Keywords: European Union, Britain, British government, British diplomacy, depoliticization, Blair government

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