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1992 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in London

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview in London, held on Wednesday 4th November 1992.


PRIME MINISTER:

Good morning! I have the Sultan of Brunei arriving in just a few moments but I would like before he arrives to say a word or two about the presidential election.

I have this morning sent a message of congratulations to Governor Clinton on his stunning victory in the American election yesterday. I have no doubt from what I know of the Governor's policies that the United States and Britain will continue to work together very closely in foreign policy and that the special relationship we have had for so many years will be maintained. I hope to have the opportunity of meeting President-elect Clinton in the course of the next few weeks.

Perhaps I might also take this opportunity to say a word or two about George Bush. He has, I believe, been an extraordinarily good friend to this country and to Europe as a whole. At the time of the invasion of Kuwait, he provided very strong, very wise, very consistent leadership for the Western World. He has managed to negotiate some of the largest arms reductions the world has ever seen between East and West and added very substantially to our security and in his relationship with the former Soviet Union he has managed, through his diplomacy and his skills, to turn old enemies into new friends, I believe they are very substantial contributions for any president to have achieved and I believe history will record those and his presidency very favourably indeed.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

QUESTION (John Sergeant - BBC TV):

Prime Minister, how important to you is the vote tonight?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think we will win the vote tonight and I think that will be apparent. The substance of European policy is very clear. The most important matter of all is the consistency of British foreign policy in Europe and abroad and there is no doubt in my mind that Britain's place is in Europe and there is no doubt that since it is in Europe, we need to play a leading part in Europe and help ourselves to shape the Europe of the future. That means we can't hide behind other people. We have to make our own decisions, we have to stand by them, and we have to build on them and that is our policy.

QUESTION (Adam Boulton - Sky TV):

Prime Minister, what will you do if you're not successful this evening?

PRIME MINISTER:

I don't believe it is going to arise. I believe we are going to win the vote this evening.

QUESTION (John Sergeant - BBC TV):

Would you consider, Prime Minister, resigning if you lost the vote tonight?

PRIME MINISTER:

I don't believe we are going to lose the vote tonight.

QUESTION (Adam Boulton - Sky TV):

Could we then ask you about GATT?

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes. I had a number of conversations in recent days both with members of the Community and the Commission and also with the United States. I spoke twice yesterday to Jim Baker during the course of discussions. Many of you may know that the Minister of Agriculture has actually been there near to the negotiations to offer what advice and assistance he can to Commissioner MacSharry. John Gummer will be reporting back to me later on today and I will have a clearer view then of precisely what the cause of the breakdown was. I would prefer to avoid substantive comment until I have that.