Saturday, July 2, 2016

24 Vintage Photos That Show Just How Different Great Britain Voted About Europe in the 1970s

Back in 1975, people across the UK were being asked almost exactly the same question about our future in Europe that they are today.

British voters have backed the UK's continued membership of the European Economic Community by a large majority in the country's first nationwide referendum.

Just over 67% of voters supported the Labour government's campaign to stay in the EEC, or Common Market, despite several cabinet ministers having come out in favour of British withdrawal.

The result was later hailed by Prime Minister Harold Wilson as a "historic decision".

Yet so much else has changed. These photographs portray an era that was vastly different in many ways.

LREM Eric Littlehales, of Oswestry, Salop, ponders arguments for and against in the forthcoming National Referendum on the Common Market during a courtesy visit by HMS Fearless to Stockholm, 1975. (PA Archive)

Demonstration during the meeting of French President Pompidou and British Prime Minister Edward Heath at Chequers, 1972. (Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images)

Pro-Common Market Youth Rally at Trafalgar Square, London, 1975. (Paul Fievez—Daily Mail/REX)

Beverley Pilkington, 22 year old model from Essex, wearing Pro Europe white tee shirt with the slogan, Europe or bust! May 19, 1975. (Kent Gavin—Mirrorpix/Newscom)

A woman expresses the common fear that Britain will lose her greatness once she joins EEC, 1973. (Vince Blye—Camera Press/Redux)

Margaret Thatcher, sporting a sweater bearing the flags of European nations, in Parliament Square during her 'Yes to Europe' campaign, 1975. (PA Archive)

English Conservative politician, (John) Enoch Powell with his wife as he signs copies of his book 'Common Market - The Case Against' during the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton, Oct. 13, 1971. (Central Press/Getty Images)

Mr Edward Heath goes aboard the Europe boat on Birmingham's canal, as part of Britain in Europe campaign,1975. (Brian Bould—Daily Mail/REX)

Social Services secretary, Mrs Barbara Castle, left, her 7-year-old great-niece Rachel Hilton and Mrs Joan Marten, wife of Neil Martin, Chairman of the anti-Common Marketeers (unseen) display goods they brought in London and Brussels with their retrospective prices for comparison during a press conference at the Waldorf Hotel in London , May 29, 1975. (Peter Kemp—AP)

Counting of the ballot following the referendum, June 6, 1975. (SUS2/Camera Press/Redux)

Votes in the Common Market Referendum being counted at Earl's Court Exhibition Center, London, June 6,1975. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Ballot boxes are seen in the background as the count for the European Referendum gets underway, June 6, 1975. (PA Archive)

Mrs Anna Williams aged 102, personally delivers her Yes Vote to Swansea's referendum returning officer, Referendum Day, June 5, 1975. (Western Mail Archive/Mirrorpix/Newscom)

Mrs. Barbara Fellows, of South Kensington, shows her disapproval of joining the Common Market, Oct. 10, 1971. (Keystone Pictures/ Zuma/Newscom)

Siv Hederby, from Sweden, wears a Pro Europe Common Market bikini, which incorporates the flags of all nine market members.

Colleen Terrans 18 and Dawn Miller 21 riding on the bonnet of the leading car of the South Glamorgan campaign to Keep Britain in Europe.

Pro Europe campaigners Karen Coles, 20, Christine Gregory, 17, and Gillian Willey 20, part of South Glamorgan campaign to Keep Britain in Europe.

The count at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on June 6, 1975.

A rally in Cardiff on May 31, 1975.

Prime Minister Harold Wilson at Keep Britain in Europe Rally held at Sophia Gardens Pavilion, Cardiff, Wales.

Tony Benn MP speaking at Get Britain Out meeting held at Sophia Gardens Pavilion, Cardiff on June 3, 1975.

Anti Common Market MPs at Westminster rehearsing their song Nine Nein Nein.

A picture of the schedule to the Referendum Act, which lays down the form of words to be used on the ballot paper. 1975. (PA Archive)

Mrs Gertrude Shilling wearing a Common Market themed hat at the Royal Ascot racecourse, 1973. (Chris Barham—ANL/REX)

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