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Thursday, 9 February 2017

Britain, Europe and Australia; Britain in Europe.


When I worked in Australia, I was involved in two conferences about Britain and Europe, one in Brisbane, "Europe after Maastricht: Visions and Realities", 1993, and "Britain in Europe", at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, July 1997. The Directors of the European Cultural Institutes and organisations used to meet regularly to co-plan or support collaborative projects. It was the same when I worked in Czechoslovakia, Greece and Sweden.

Professor John Milfull, of the Centre for European Studies, produced and edited the book, Britain in Europe, in 1999, based on the papers and proceedings of the Sydney conference.

It seems not long ago that Professor Milfull could be writing in warm appreciation and praise of the "exemplary cooperation" between the British and German counterparts involved with him in developing and supporting the project, describing them as "model citizens of a New Europe".

Not everything was right in the complex relationship between the UK and Australia, as Professor Milfull points out in the final page scanned below.

As far as the European Union was concerned, some of us, at least, were much more positive, idealistic, committed and hopeful then than now. When did it all go seriously wrong? It wasn't just down to the Maastricht Treaty or the Brexit Referendum.

Who, even now, is preparing the next academic conference, Britain Out of Europe? Or will it be Britain In Europe (Out of the EU)?









Related:

Brexit: How will the divorce unfold from here? Policy Network , Andrew Duff

Alexander Downer spruiks free trade possibilities in wake of Brexit, The Weekend Australian

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