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What is the Lisbon Treaty?

The Lisbon Treaty (2007) was the culmination of a long process to rationalise the existing treaties. Read this fact to find out more.
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When did Britain decide to join the European Union?

The UK first applied to join the EU in 1961. This application was vetoed by the French government in 1963 and a second application was vetoed, again by the French, in 1967.
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Why did the United Kingdom not join the European Union when it started?

This fact explains why the United Kingdom did not join the European Union when it started during the 1950s.
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What are the ‘euro-ins’ and ‘euro-outs’?

There are 19 ‘euro-ins’ and eight ‘euro-outs’ in the EU. The euro-ins are the members states that use the euro as their currency.
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What are EU directives?

Directives are the most common form of EU legal act. In contrast to a regulation, a directive does not apply directly at the national level.
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What are EU regulations?

An EU regulation is a legal act that applies directly at the national level. Read our fact to find out more.
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Was there a referendum in the UK to join the EU in 1973?

No, but the UK did hold a referendum on whether to remain a member of the European Community in 1975. Read this fact for more.
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What did EU membership mean for the UK?

The UK joined the EU in 1973 and left in 2020. As a member state, the UK was bound by the EU treaties which set out the privileges and obligations of membership.
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How does the EU make laws?

The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers amend the draft proposals and vote on whether these proposals should become EU law.
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Why was European integration launched?

The foundations of European integration were laid in the aftermath of the Second World War. Read more in this fact.
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