"Of course, if trade barriers were lifted in the EC"
Map of the European Community in 1981
Public DomainMap of the European Union as it was in 1981 - Credit: JLogan

EC stands for European Community.

The EC began life as the European Economic Community, created by the Treaty of Rome in 1957. It was an international organisation designed to promote economic integration amongst its members, and was known in the English-speaking world as the Common Market. Its six founding members were Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Later, the EEC expanded substantially; Britain joined in 1973 when Edward Heath was Prime Minister.

Following the signing of the Mastricht Treaty in 1992, the European Economic Community (EEC) was officially renamed the European Community (EC) (it had previously sometimes been known informally by this name), and the EC became one of the three pillars of the European Union. With the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, the concept of the EC was abolished. 

Click here to see an animated map of the enlargement of the European Union up to 2007.

On 23 June, 2016, a referendum was held in Britain which offered the electorate the choice between leaving, or remaining in the European Union. The result of the vote was that 51.9% chose to leave, and 48.1% chose to remain. There were however significant regional differences, with  a majority of voters in Scotland choosing to remain in the Union.