Rarely if ever, for all their long history, can the British people have entered such a momentous New Year as on this first day of January, nineteen hundred and seventy‐three. For the first time they have, as a deliberate act of policy, given up some small part of their sovereignty, very probably the precursor of more in due time, to join with others in the pursuit of prosperity and peace. Whether one favours British membership of the European Community or not, this is, by any standard, a traumatic step by a nation which, within a generation and for the most part with few regrets, has seen its role change from that of head of the greatest empire the world has ever known to that of a newly‐admitted member of a loosely connected group of states pledged to work together to mend the rancourous divisions of the past.
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