PARIS, January 14th: President de Gaulle today made public some of his views against Britain becoming a member of the European Common Market.
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Background: PARIS, January 14th: President de Gaulle today made public some of his views against Britain becoming a member of the European Common Market. In a press conference in Paris, which he held only a few hours after Britain's chief negotiator had begun a new round of talks in Brussels to get the U.K. into the Common new round to talks in Brussels to get the U.K. into the Common Market. President de Gaulle hit out against Britain's unsuitability to become a member.
He said that she is, by her nature and by her place in the world, disqualified from joining. Britain, he said, is insular, maritime, and linked through the Commonwealth with distant, diversified countries. Her economy is mostly commercial and industrial with little agriculture. In brief, he said, the nature and structure of Britain is profoundly different from the Continental states.
A Europe of seven of thirteen, or even eighteen countries, the President complained, would no longer resemble the Common Market as conceived by France. It would in the end amount to a colossal Atlantic community dependent upon and controlled by the United States, which would tend to absorb the European Community.
It was for Britain to say, he said, whether she would accept a common Continental tariff, abandon Commonwealth preference, cease to claim privileges for her farmers, and break her ties with the other nations of the European Free Trade Area.
To underline his determination to keep France - and the European Six - as a force independent of America President de Gaulle went on to decline President Kennedy's offer of Polaris missiles, an offer identical to that recently accepted by Britain. France, he said, is determined to construct and, if necessary, use her own atomic force.