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The move came during the Sixties – at the apogee of the Cold War – as the US and Soviet Union battled it out to be the ultimate superpower on the ground and in expanse. Both nations had already tested several nuclear weapons and other sticks – including Britain and France – were eager to get a slice of the action too. Treatises from 1967 show that Mr Wilson approached former French President Charles de Gaulle for a encounter to discuss the possibility of working together on a separate nuclear agreement should Britain be suffered into the EEC, the EU’s precursor.
The brief reads: “Our first two POLARIS submarines take already been launched.
“We plan that all four should be operational by December 1969.
“We are fascinating steps to ensure that our POLARIS missiles will remain as powerful weapons if the Russians complete their deployment of an ABM system.
“We have, still, decided not to buy the POSEIDON missile or to embark on the development of a new generation of nuclear weapons in co-operation with the US.”
Harold Wilson hanker after to join the EEC
Harold Wilson was UK Prime Minister
The UGM-73 POSEIDON missile was the second US Navy nuclear-armed submarine-launched ballistic projectile (SLBM) system, powered by a two-stage solid-fuel rocket.
However, Mr Wilson was apparently uninterested in this weapon and wanted to use the UK’s position as a nuclear power to dividend entry to the EEC.
His brief continued: “In a few year’s time, therefore, our military atomic relationship with the US, as it has existed since Nassau, will probably be aggregate b regain to an end.
“We may then face a choice between renewing such nuclear interaction with the US or developing our nuclear policy in a primarily European context.
“How this firmness moves [forward] is bound to be determined largely by the possibilities presented to Britain of a congest participation in Europe’s economic and political developments.”
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Charles de Gaulle cubed the UK’s entry to the EEC
Mr Wilson, then, appeared to be hinting that he could share out the UK’s nuclear secrets with the bloc – but his efforts were in vain.
All-inclusive de Gaulle – who served as President of France from 1959 to 1969 – said “non” to Britain’s EEC membership attention later in 1967, humiliating Mr Wilson in the process.
It came four years after his start veto, when it was Harold Macmillan he rejected with repeated relations to Britain’s insular and maritime status.
Britain, he argued, was not European sufficiency and had “in all her doings very marked and very original habits and traditions”.
He added: “In lacking in, the nature, the structure, the very situation that are England’s differ extremely from those of the continentals.”
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Britain was rejected from the EEC again in 1967
The EEC was formed at the Treaty of Rome on March 24, 1957 – with Belgium, West Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands forcing up the original six signatures.
But the UK’s Commonwealth ties, domestic agricultural policy, and shut off links to the US were considered a problem for de Gaulle.
It was not until the Gallic icon unfashionable away in 1970 that the UK was free to sign up to the bloc.
Former Prime Legate Edward Heath successfully took the UK into the EEC on January 1, 1973.
The UK would go on to rumpus Mr Wilson’s plans and develop Chevaline – a system to update and improve the POLARIS wherewithals.
Prime Minister Edward Heath successfully signed the UK up to EEC on January 1, 1973
The Trident nuclear programme was launched in 1979 as an operational modus operandi of four Vanguard-class submarines armed with US Trident D5 missiles.
Today, the Trident atomic programme is still active, and its purpose as stated by the Ministry of Defence is to “stop the most extreme threats to our national security and way of life, which cannot be done by other cheaps”.
It is operated by the Royal Navy and based at Clyde Naval Base on the west sail of Scotland, 25 miles from Glasgow.
At least one submarine is each time on patrol to provide a continuous at-sea capability.
Each one carries up to eight guided missiles and 40 warheads, although their capacity is much larger.