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How Europe won over the British left

In September 1988, a speech by Jacques Delors, the President of the European Commission, helped convince British trade unionists to support the European Community.

In September 1988, a speech by Jacques Delors, the President of the European Commission, helped convince British trade unionists to support the European Community.

For years, many on the left had been sceptical of the EC, regarding it as a 'rich man's club'. The Labour party and the unions had even called for withdrawal from the European Community, but as Europe geared up for the opening of the single market in 1992, Jacques Delors began to talk about something new. It was called the social dimension, and one TUC official, David Lea, wanted to know more, so he invited him to Britain's Trade Union Congress. Claire Bowes spoke to Lord Lea along with John Edmonds, formerly of the GMB union.

Photo: Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission, addressing the Trade Union Congress in Bournemouth in 1988 (Credit: Press Association)

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Thu 8 Sep 2016 07:50GMT

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