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1994 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Statement in Lisburn

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep statement at Bow Street Hall in Lisburn on Saturday 22nd October 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

I would firstly like to say how very encouraging it's been to see the enormous warmth of the reception from both communities in Northern Ireland about the way in which matters have progressed over the last few months. It doesn't leave me with a shred of doubt about the absolute determination amongst the people of Northern Ireland to carry this process forward. I think that in the last 48 hours we have carried it forward. I think we have made a quantum leap forward and think there is now a momentum that will carry it a good deal further.

The next thing that will happen will be my meeting with the Taoiseach on Monday. It's a stocktaking meeting. We're progressing on the Framework Document; we have been pressing to move forward with the Framework Document. A great deal of it has now been concluded; there's still more to be done. I hope we may make some more progress on Monday. We may need more meetings. As soon as it's concluded I hope we will be able to publish it.

QUESTION:

There's a growing feeling in Dublin in Government circles that your meeting with the Taoiseach on Monday could be a crunch meeting in so far as the final conclusion of the Framework Document goes?

PRIME MINISTER:

No, no. I think someone's being over-enthusiastic as they're saying that. There will be a series of meetings. The important thing is to get this right. We have been pressing for a very long time to move forward on the Framework Document. We're in a position to move forward, but I think both the Taoiseach and I will be absolutely determined to make sure we get this right. I'm sure we'll make some progress on Monday, but I think we may need more meetings beyond that and I think he does too.

QUESTION:

But Mr Major, do you think that the Government of Ireland Act, the sections of that Act and Articles 2 and 3 are being explicitly linked in terms of a resolution of the problems of Northern Ireland?

PRIME MINISTER:

I have no intention whatever of dealing with the details of the Framework Document until we have finished the negotiations. I don't think that would help the negotiations and don't think it would help anybody else. What has happened so far is that the Taoiseach and I and our officials have carried this forward. A huge amount of progress has been made. We're going to carry that forward on Monday. When we have concluded it we will publish the Document and then we'll deal with questions like that.