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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 London on Wednesday 9th December 1992.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about President Mitterrand’s comments that there might have to be a Europe of ten].

PRIME MINISTER:

You cannot have a Europe of ten, it is not possible. Europe advances as Twelve or Europe cannot advance, that is the position taken by a number of governments, the German government made it clear on a number of occasions that Europe advances as Twelve. Chancellor Kohl has said it publicly on a number of occasions, it is the British position as well and I think it will remain the position.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked that President Mitterrand said it was legally possible to implement Maastricht without the Danes].

PRIME MINISTER:

I do not believe that is true.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if there was no legal way of achieving this].

PRIME MINISTER:

We are a Community of Twelve and it is our intention to move ahead as a Community of Twelve and I think that is the way we must approach all negotiations and that is the way we do approach them.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked what would happen if the Danes did not ratify the Maastricht Treaty].

PRIME MINISTER:

Then we cannot ratify Maastricht, you cannot ratify Maastricht without the Danes, Maastricht is an agreement amongst twelve, not an agreement amongst eleven.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if the Maastricht Treaty was therefore dead if it was not ratified by the Danes].

PRIME MINISTER:

If it cannot be ratified by all twelve it cannot proceed. We believe it can be ratified by all twelve and we want it ratified by all twelve and we are doing everything we can to make sure that an agreement is reached, but it must be an agreement by all the members of the Community.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked what could be done for the Danes].

PRIME MINISTER:

We have set out a very comprehensive plan to meet the difficulties faced by the Danes, it involves a decision by the member states on certain sensitive matters, it involves European Council conclusions, a declaration by the European Council and declaration by the Danes. But the points that are relevant are these: it does not change the terms of the Maastricht Treaty, there will be no need for fresh ratification of the Maastricht Treaty and it calls for flexibility on behalf of the Danes and of the rest of the Community. I do not propose to go into details on the propositions we have put forward, but I hope we will find they are generally acceptable at Edinburgh this weekend.