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1994 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Northern Ireland

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview held outside the Europa Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 13th December 1994.


QUESTION:

[Inaudible].

PRIME MINISTER:

I don’t believe so. I think the peace process has done rather more than just start. Anyone who comes to Northern Ireland and sees what the atmosphere is today compared to just a few months ago simply wouldn’t recognise the place. The opportunity for investment here has always been good. Of course there is a whole range of obvious reasons for investing here. But as the peace process catches hold, the thing that is going to make sure that it absolutely lasts is increasing economic prosperity to remove many of the old grievances which existed. Providing investment is vital.

QUESTION:

It’s the chicken and the egg - which comes first - the investment or the peace?

PRIME MINISTER:

Peace is coming and investment will entrench it.

QUESTION:

You said tonight that nothing will stop you in driving this peace process forward. You said that you would be steadfast. What does it mean in a sentence?

PRIME MINISTER:

It means exactly what I said. When I first went into Downing Street I put Northern Ireland right at the top of the agenda. I sat down at my seat in Downing Street. I made a list of things I wanted to do. One of them was to end the bloodshed there’d been in Northern Ireland and lead to permanent peace. We have made a lot of progress. We’re not there yet but we’ve made further progress than most people believed we would make and I think there’s more to come.

QUESTION:

Is this the page of history that you want to turn?

PRIME MINISTER:

I don’t think it’s a question of turning it for the sake of history, I’d like to turn it for the sake of the people who live in Northern Ireland.