The position of the United Kingdom’s conservative party vis-à-vis European integration
Mutlu, Can Emir
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This thesis explores the position of the Conservative Party of United Kingdom of Great Britain vis-à-vis the European integration. It aims to contribute to the literature of party-based Euroscepticism. The main objective of this thesis is to find out any change in the Conservative Party position on European integration and determine factors contributing to this position. In order to accomplish this objective, the general election and European election manifestos of the Conservative Party since 1970 and also the parliamentary debates are analyzed through qualitative content analysis. The research question of this thesis is “What factors contribute to the positioning of the Conservative Party of the UK vis-à-vis the European integration?”. This study argues that the incompatibility of the Conservative Party values such as parliamentary sovereignty, strong state and democracy with the current and future trajectory of the European Union and the intra-party dissent contributed to the position of the Conservative Party vis-à-vis the European integration. This thesis commences with a review of the literature on party positioning and party-based Euroscepticism and proceeds by presenting the national political context of Britain and an in-depth discussion of the Conservative Party position on European integration.