Common Market: A Glancing Blow

It was not the final blackball, but it was the closest thing to it. Assembled in Luxembourg's new 23-story Centre Européen were the members of the Common Market's Council of Ministers, ready for the first official talks on Britain's application for membership. Many feared that France might deliver the coup de gráce right then and there, ending Britain's hopes of gaining entry any time in the near future. What came was a glancing blow that was calculated to prove just as fatal in the end.

Unlike De Gaulle's reaction to Britain's first bid in 1963, French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve...

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