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1995 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Madrid

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview in Madrid, held on Thursday 14th December 1995.


QUESTION:

Prime Minister, is there any way in which you can slow down the movement towards a single currency here in Madrid?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think that what we have to discuss at Madrid are the questions that still remain unanswered about a single currency. Many of them were obvious questions, have been examined or are being examined by the Finance Ministers at the moment. But what has not yet been examined is what the implications would be of a small number of countries going ahead and not, as was originally envisaged, a very large number of countries going ahead. It is not a question of slowing or changing the timetable, I don't think that is on the agenda particularly this weekend, what it is a question of is making sure that all the implications of proceeding are fully understood. I don't yet believe they are and I will raise some of the issues of concern.

QUESTION:

Can I just take you back to the riot overnight in Brixton. Obviously a serious event, how concerned are you about it and particularly what seems to have been a breakdown in relations between the minority community and the police?

PRIME MINISTER:

I have been in the air, Michael, I have not had a full report, I will comment tomorrow when I have seen it.

QUESTION:

Is it right that you are not here, as has been suggested today, playing for time?

PRIME MINISTER:

I am here to deal with the important issues concerning the single currency and enlargement and the other issues on the agenda. I know many people have many different versions of what I am here to do. What I am here for is what I have just explained a few moments ago, I think there are very important issues about the single currency that have not yet been examined. Because what does need to be understood is that if a small number of countries go ahead, the implications of that will not only be for those countries that take part in the single currency, the implications of a small number going ahead will apply to the whole of the European Union, the ramifications will be very wide indeed. And the point that I am making repeatedly to my colleagues, and will make again in our discussions tomorrow, is that we need to examine all those ramifications to see what they are, which ones of them cause difficulty and how they might be met. And I believe it absolutely imperative that we begin to consider those - long past time.