The UK became a member of the EC (now the EU) in 1973.) (McKean, 2005).
The European Union (EU) refers to the 25 nations that have joined together to form an economic community (EC), with some monetary, political, and social aspirations. (Law, 2006). The European Union was created in 1993 from the EC, which itself emerged from the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Atomic Energy Community, and the European Economic Community (EEC). (Law, 2006).
The 12 nations of the EC (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the UK) were joined by Austria, Sweden, and Finland in 1995 and by (Greek) Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia in May 2004. The Executive Body of the European Union is the European Commission, which was formed in 1967 with the Council of the European Communities. (Law, 2006). EU policy emerges from a dialogue between the Commission, which initiates and implements the policy, and the Council, which takes the major policy decisions. The European Parliament, formed in 1957, exercises democratic control over policy, and the European Court of Justice imposes the rule of law on the EU, as set out in its various treaties. Although a draft EU Constitution, proposing the creation of an EU president and foreign minister, was published in 2004, its future is now uncertain following rejection by the electorates of France and the Netherlands. (Law, 2006).
The United Kingdom became a member of the EU on 1st January 1973. (http://www.eurofaq.freeuk.com/#130). According to section 2 of the enabling legislation, the European Communities Act, 1972, established the principle of the European Law would always prevail over British Law in the event of a clash, thereby overthrowing the supremacy of the British Parliament. (http://www.eurofaq.freeuk.com/#130).
The issue as to whether The UK continues to be nothing but a hindrance to the process of European Integration, to the disadvantage of business throughout Europe is a controversial one. On the one hand it might be argued that the UK's continuous refusal to join the EMU's single currency the euro makes it difficult for the EU as a whole to eliminate foreign exchange risk in European firms given that the pound continues to fluctuate against the euro and other European currencies such as the Swedish Krona, the Norwegian Krona and the Danish Krona. On the other hand one can also argue that the UK's economy is significantly ahead of many economies in the euro zone, and therefore becoming a member of the EMU can have devastating effects on the UK's economy. In the final analysis, this paper will argue against the above claim that the UK is a hindrance to the progress of European Integration and to the disadvantages of business throughout Europe. The following points can be advanced to refute these claims.
The European Union established a single market, which refers to the concept of a single integrated market that underlies trading in the European Union, as codified in the Single European Act (1986), which was introduced in 1987 with a target date of 31 December 1992 for completion. (Law, 2006). According to Law (2006), The Single Market came into force on 1 January 1993 with between 90% and 95% of the necessary legislation enacted by all member countries. In practice, however, some of its terms