The Economic History Review

Britain, Butter, and European Integration, 1957–1964

Volume 50 Issue 2
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Pages: 327-347Authors: Paul L. Robertson, John Singleton
Published online: January 22, 2003DOI: 10.1111/1468-0289.00057

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Access to the British butter market was an important issue during British negotiations with continental Europe in the early 1960s. Commonwealth producers enjoyed preferential treatment under the terms of the Ottawa Agreement, and butter exports were of particular importance to New Zealand. This article explains how Britain attempted to safeguard New Zealand’s trade while conforming to Europe’s agricultural policy. When British/European negotiations collapsed in 1963, attention switched to the need to make dairy concessions to Denmark in order to speed up tariff reductions in EFTA. Commonwealth butter suppliers faced an increasingly uncertain future, and New Zealanders lived to regret their economic dependence on the British market.