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1994 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Belfast

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview held outside the Europa Hotel, in Belfast, on 14th December 1994.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he hoped the business community would invest so that Northern Ireland would have to move forwards].

PRIME MINISTER:

I profoundly hope so, yes. If you look at where so many of the hatreds and the concerns that have arisen they have arisen from people who don’t see a natural future for themselves, who are not fully occupied, who find themselves attracted one way or another to one or other side of the divide. Now I think we want to extinguish that and I think the growth of investment, the greater prosperity is perhaps the most single important item in doing that. Once people can see that they have a natural interest in the peace process than I believe that the peace process will become entrenched and will become irreversible and an important part of that is the sort of investment we are seeing today. It was for that reason that I convened this particular conference. There is more than one plank of course we have to reach a political agreement and that we’re seeking to do. But we also have to offer economic hope as well and that is what this conference is about.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if the business community would set the pace that the politicians might then follow].

PRIME MINISTER:

I am delighted to see the business community set the pace. They have been doing so for some time. Investment has been coming in even prior to the ceasefire. It is accelerating now. I was able to announce five important investments this morning. I hope as a result of the conference we have had that there will be many more. They may not appear over the next day or so, people will need to consider, examine, consult and then decide whether to invest. But I am confident that it will lead to more investment and providing that is the case than I think it will make a material contribution to entrenching the opportunities which exist here at the moment.