The Benelux countries were created on 5 September 1944, when the governments of the three countries (still in exile in London) signed a customs union agreement that came into force on 1 January 1948. A series of agreements resulted in the Benelux Economic Union, which was established on 3 February 1958 in The Hague. In 1963, Britain applied for admission to the European Economic Community (EEC) for the first time. Britain`s accession to the EEC would in fact exclude New Zealand from the UK market. The 1971 Luxembourg Convention brought butter, cheese and lamb meat to New Zealand when Britain finally joined the EEC in 1973. By that time, New Zealand`s exports to the “metropolitan” had fallen to less than 30% of all exports, and in 20 years they would be less than 10%. As early as 1973, New Zealanders saw the UK`s Brentry in the EEC as an existential threat to the future of our nation – and they occupied us for a decade. “No agreement will be reached until it is approved by Parliament after full consultation with other Commonwealth countries according to the procedure they could generally approve,” he said. The Luxembourg Compromise (“The Luxembourg Agreement”) was an agreement reached in January 1966 to resolve the “empty chair crisis” that had led to a deadlock in the European Economic Community. “This is not a situation of one or the other. Just as things are all the rage, I could see that a trade agreement with continental Europe, on the one hand, and another a very separate agreement with the UNITED Kingdom on the other,” Lynch said. A fundamental change made by the Treaty is contained in Article 3, paragraph 3, of the `Law on The Terms of Accession and Adaptations of the Treaties`, in which new members agree that they respect the principles and guidelines arising from those declarations, resolutions or other positions with regard to the initial agreements of the Member States and the Communities.
and the necessary measures to ensure their implementation.”  Article 4 continues to list the agreements they have concluded and, in Article 4, paragraph 4, they agree to adapt their international agreements “to the rights and obligations arising from their membership of the Communities”. The United Kingdom joined Denmark and Ireland on 1 January 1973; the Norwegian people had voted against membership in a referendum. Greece became a member in 1981; Portugal and Spain joined in 1986. Britain has long been the largest import of New Zealand, but New Zealand has begun to decline slowly – from 48% in the late 1930s to 43% in 1960 and 30% in 1970. This is partly due to the recovery of other economies after the war and their ability to compete with British exporters in terms of price and quality. But it was also a by-product of Uk membership of the EEC.