Professor Anne Deighton remembers Britain’s failed ‘Plan G’

Anne Deighton has written a letter to the Financial Times (20 January) reminding policymakers of a failed British proposal from the 1950s under which the UK would have an industrial free trade area with the EEC, as the EU was then known, but would trade on her own different terms with her Commonwealth partners.

She writes of the various plans at the time, starting with Plan A and going all the way to Plan G, which “proposed that the UK would have an industrial free trade area with the EEC, but would trade on her own different terms with her Commonwealth partners (mainly agriculture). This was based purely on British national interests, and was driven by fear of exclusion from continental markets.”

She adds a “pertinent continental observation at the time of the failing free trade area negotiations: the UK just wants to drop the EU market, just like a quickly dissolving sugar lump, into the British cup of free trade area tea.”

The full letter can be read (behind a paywall) here: https://www.ft.com/content/ec30a16e-de57-11e6-86ac-f253db7791c6

Professor Anne Deighton is Emeritus Professor of European International Politics, Fellow, Wolfson College