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A Matter of Public Importance? The ‘Europe Open for Business’ Campaign, British Public Opinion and the Single Market

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Accepted/In press5 Sep 2020

King's Authors


This article offers a historical assessment of the Europe Open for Business campaign, launched in 1988 by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government and related to the programme to complete the Single Market. The campaign, which delivered a substantial increase in business awareness of the 1992 programme, was a unique propaganda exercise that emphasized the importance the Conservatives attached to the Single Market. However, the campaign was undermined by Thatcher’s September 1988 Bruges speech. Using contemporary public opinion data related to the Single Market, the article also argues that it was limited by the decision to target solely a business, rather than public, audience. Through its assessment of Europe Open for Business, the article thus contributes to four areas of inquiry: British government propaganda exercises regarding European integration; Conservative Party European policy; the growing literature on the Bruges speech; and broader debates on the role of publics in the European integration process.

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