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1992 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Edinburgh

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview in Edinburgh, held on 11th December 1992. The first section is missing.


[first section of doorstep interview is missing]

PRIME MINISTER:

We must wait and see, we tabled a compromise last night, we must wait and see how that runs with colleagues, we must wait and see what other colleagues say, we need an overall compromise if it is available.

QUESTION:

Will you have a new package on growth that will give new hope to the unemployed in Europe at the end of these proceedings?

PRIME MINISTER:

The Finance Ministers will be discussing that this morning, the Heads of Government will discuss it over lunch, the Finance Ministers in the light of what the Heads say over lunch will continue their discussions, I very much hope we can reach an agreement.

QUESTION:

Presumably the more for countries like Spain the less for supposedly developed regions like Scotland?

PRIME MINISTER:

We always have to reach a balance of that sort, that is most certainly true. From within the cohesion funds and the structural funds there is a balance to be drawn. But of course the cohesion fund does not apply to any parts of the United Kingdom, the cohesion fund just applies to Greece, to Portugal, to Spain and to Ireland.

QUESTION:

Presumably you are anxious not to give too much to the southern countries like Spain?

PRIME MINISTER:

I would not quite see it in terms of giving money away, what we are trying to do is help the development of the whole of the European Community and these resources are for infrastructure products which are helpful to industry right the way across the Community, both in the recipient countries and beyond it, so I do not quite see it as giving money away in that fashion. What we are seeking to do is to help the construction of the whole of Europe, that is important both in the short term, the medium term, but of course most important in the long term development of the Community as it develops and eventually as it grows and becomes larger.

QUESTION:

But you are anxious presumably to maintain money for regions like Scotland?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well of course and of course the structural fund, which has brought a considerable amount of money to the United Kingdom, will be enhanced as well in the package that we are proposing.

QUESTION:

Do you see the financial issue as potentially the biggest stumbling block to an overall deal here?

PRIME MINISTER:

No, I think people are assuming too readily that there will be agreement on the difficulties faced by Denmark. There has been a tendency in the last couple of days to assume that that matter is becoming easier. I just have to say to you there are still very real difficulties in reaching an agreement on Denmark, we have produced proposals, we have discussed them with all our colleagues, there are still matters to be overcome. That will be the first matter on our agenda this morning.