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1992 - Mr Major’s Joint Doorstep Interview with Mrs Burndtland

Below is the text of Mr Major’s joint doorstep interview with the Norwegian Prime Minister, Mrs Burndtland, held in London on Wednesday 25th November 1992.


QUESTION:

[Inaudible].

PRIME MINISTER:

From the British point of view we would like negotiations to begin without delay, that is certainly the case, that is something we will have to agree with our European partners as to whether it is before or after ratification. But either way, it would be with the intention of Norway being able to join the Community by 1995.

QUESTION:

Do you expect hard negotiations?

PRIME MINISTER:

Negotiations are always hard but there is a great will within the Community to have Norway join us, I know of nobody who would not wish to see Norway in the Community. The general belief and expectation is that Norway's proper position is as part of the European Community, so although the negotiations will be tough, Norway will have national interests to fight for, the Community will have difficulties to overcome, but I am sure the negotiations will be successful.

QUESTION:

Do you see any obstacles?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think that is a matter that will become clear during the negotiations but I think obstacles are there to be overcome.

QUESTION:

In your discussions today what difficulties did you discuss?

NORWEGIAN PRIME MINISTER:

I can tell you that the areas I have mentioned is the importance of natural resources and the fishing situation for our coastal communities and for the whole north of Norway which are maybe the most vital, but also agriculture in sparsely populated areas close to the North Pole,

QUESTION:

Your meeting was longer than scheduled, what were you talking about?

PRIME MINISTER:

I offered the Prime Minister a glass of champagne, she accepted it and she drank it, in order to indicate our wish to see Norway as part of the Community - that explains the overrunning.

QUESTION:

[Inaudible].

PRIME MINISTER:

We have an expression in Great Britain - Third time lucky.