REFERENDUM TO DECIDE WHETHER BRITAIN SHOULD REMAIN IN THE EEC
1975 - 5 June
|To remain in the community||616,730||65.4%|
|To leave the community||326,993||34.6%|
On 1 January 1973 Britain became a fully-fledged member of the European Economic Community. Despite many people supporting the principal, others objected to what they saw as a loss of sovereignty. Consequently, the Labour Government led by Harold Wilson, held a referendum, the first nationwide referendum, to decide whether Britain should stay in or leave the community. The country was divided into 68 counties and regions. Naturally, Leeds was in West Yorkshire. A substantial majority backed the UK’s continued membership and opponents conceded victory to the pro-Europeans by 6pm on Friday 6 June. Nationally, 17,378,581 or 67.2% voted to stay, whilst 8,470,073 or 32.8% opted to leave. Wilson described the result as an ‘historic decision’.