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1994 - Mr Major’s Comments Following the European Elections

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments following the European elections made during an interview given in London on Monday 13th June 1994 and broadcast the following morning on Tuesday 14th June 1994.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked what priorities would change following the European election results].

PRIME MINISTER:

I don’t think I would put it in that way. The priorities we have are long-term priorities, they are not short-term ones, they are not changeable priorities like changing a shirt each day. We have some very long-term politics that we believe we must see through. Some of them are now coming to fruition, low inflation for example, lower interest rates to help industry, unemployment beginning to fall, exports beginning to rise, the economy back in growth. That is a long-term policy and we will stick with the policies that have brought that about. Equally with the health reforms, with the education reforms and with the policies in the Competitiveness White Paper to improve the working of the economy and create jobs, all those will continue.

We will produce a new parliamentary programme for the next session, we will announce that later in the year. It won’t be as large as this year’s programme that has been very large indeed, but it will have a number of interesting measures in it and it will help move our reforms forward.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if unity in the Conservative Party would now end after the recent truce].

PRIME MINISTER:

No. I think the political recovery is going to start. I don’t have a great deal of doubt about that. The party in the country is perfectly clear that it wishes a united party in Parliament, that message is unmistakeable. Most people expected that there would be disagreements during the European elections - they were disappointed.

I think the parliamentary party on Europe has a message that overwhelmingly it can follow. Moreover, it is a message that I believe is right. To move substantially to the Euro-sceptic wing of the argument or the Euro-enthusiast wing of the argument doesn’t seem to me to be right for Europe or for this country. The vast majority of people in this country take a more practical, more pragmatic view. That is my view and I believe it is the view of the overwhelming majority of the Conservative party.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if the arguments hadn’t already started].

PRIME MINISTER:

Very low-key and I think if you were to go and ask the other parties and subject their views on Europe to the same searching telescope that has been put in front of the Conservative Party, you would get the same sort of responses. No-one believes that Mr Skinner and Mr Shore are enthusiastic for Europe and I think that is true of a large number of members of the Labour Party.