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1992 - Mr Major’s Comments on the European Union

Below is the text of Mr Major's comments on the European Union, made in an interview in Edinburgh on Thursday 10th December 1992.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about Denmark’s no vote on the Maastricht referendum].

PRIME MINISTER:

I think there are certain things that are necessary in the agreement that we must reach. We cannot change what is actually in the Maastricht Treaty - that is agreed. We must ensure there is no re-ratification - that also is necessary, but I think there are ways of meeting the particular difficulties the Danes have. We have put forward some proposals; they are a long way towards agreement. There are still some difficulties to be handled. I hope we will be able to reach agreement over the next two days. I can’t promise it, but we will certainly try.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if national self-interest was now more dominant than ever].

PRIME MINISTER:

The European Community is made up of a number of nation states; they all have their national interests; there is nothing new about that; that has always been the case. At the end of the day, they tend to reach agreement. There are some particularly intractable problems that we have to face at the moment. Some of them are intractable but they are also vitally important. The need for enlargement of the Community I think is self-evident. You cannot call it a European Community; it is a part of European Community at the moment. We need the EFTAns to come in and in a longer time-scale we want to see many of the Eastern Europeans join as well so that is a vital issue. But that is just one of a number of important issues to be determined in the next few days.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about Spain’s demands for more money].

PRIME MINISTER:

I think we have to wait and see what happens at the end of the negotiations. Lots of people have set out their position; there is nothing unusual about that. There are often sharply differing positions before the Community enters into summits, nothing new. On this occasion, I do accept the fact that it will be particularly difficult to reach agreement on some issues but we will have to see how far we can get.