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1996 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview on the Referendum Party

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview on the Referendum Party, held on Friday 18th October 1996.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he would lose sleep over the Referendum Party].

PRIME MINISTER:

No, I won’t lose any sleep over them.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he was concerned about their impact on the General Election].

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, I’m not really quite sure what the Referendum Party are about or even what they’re for. We have indicated that if Britain were to go into a single currency - if a future Cabinet were to decide to go into a single currency - there would be a full scale referendum specifically on that question for every adult in the country. So that is the European matter people are most concerned about and that is a clear-cut longstanding commitment. What the purpose of the Referendum Party is on the back of that, I am frankly baffled.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if their standing would still damage the Conservative Party at the General Election].

PRIME MINISTER:

I don’t think so, I don’t think so at all. I think people completely understand the potential impact of the Referendum Party. Firstly, I don’t believe they will get very many votes. They’re a fringe organisation. Secondly those votes will be spread across all the parties. I frankly don’t agree with the assessment that it would do any one particular party any damage.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if Sir James Goldsmith should not be getting involved in the political process].

PRIME MINISTER:

No, politics is open to anyone who wishes to be in politics. If Sir James wishes to spend his time in politics, that’s a matter for him.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if the attacks the Conservatives made on the Referendum Party simply gave them more publicity].

PRIME MINISTER:

No, if one gets into politics, one must expect to be attacked.