WESTERN EUROPE: Getting in Step

When Europe's six-nation Common Market went into business last New7 Year's Day amid acclaim as the harbinger of European unity, some of Europe's most vigorous and ubiquitous traders-notably the British—were conspicuously and wistfully left outside. Preferring its Commonwealth and U.S. customers, traditionally hesitant to subordinate its own island independence in any Continental supranational scheme, Britain had failed to persuade the Common Market to adopt a free-trade system that would have more loosely linked 17 European nations.

The dispute was sharp and bitter, and for a time the British, having lost, darkly...

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