Britain Breaking Ranks

A battle over defense policy

The amendment consisted of a mere eight words attached to a motion that went on for a full page. But at the annual conference of Britain's Liberal Party last week in the resort city of Eastbourne, those eight words provoked an impassioned three-hour debate, led to a humiliating defeat for Party Leader David Steel and could quite conceivably affect the course of the next general election. By the thin margin of 27 votes, out of a total 1,277 cast, delegates passed a motion calling on Britain to assume a more active role in bolstering NATO, "providing that such a defense capability...

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