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1994 - Mr Major’s Comment about Northern Ireland

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comment on Northern Ireland during an interview held in Belfast on 14th December 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

I care about peace in Northern Ireland. If what had happened in Northern Ireland over the last quarter of a century had happened in Surrey, or Sussex or Suffolk or anywhere else, people would have demanded action. Well I feel just as strongly about it in Northern Ireland as I would if it were anywhere else, it is right on its merits to take this action. Many people said you will not make any progress at all. Well I think they are now looking rather silly. A great deal of progress has been made, we have not vet cracked the problem, we are not there yet and I do not claim that, but I do claim that we have made more progress than most people believed possible, that the atmosphere has wholly changed, that the prospects for achieving a firm settlement for good are there today in a way they have not been in the last quarter of a century and we need to pursue the political process and we need to pursue the economic progress. Never under-estimate the impact of inward investment and domestic investment, creating jobs, creating a future for the young men and women who before just drifted to one side of the argument or the other and was the raw material on which the terrorists operate. Let us have some more economic prosperity and cut that away from them, and that is what today is about.