Tory leader's 1991 view
Tuesday 10 May 1994
The answer, quoted by Downing Street yesterday, may come to haunt him.
Referendums on both issues were urged on Mr Major by a Tory backbench MP on 21 November that year, during Prime Minister's questions. Mr Major said: 'The answer to your question in both cases is no. The Government do not intend to hold a referendum on the outcome of the Maastricht negotiations. There is no case for one and the Government will not offer one. On the second part your question (a referendum on a single currency), that issue would, self-evidently, be a matter for a future Parliament, but my view remains that we are a parliamentary democracy and I see no need for a referendum.'
The Prime Minister reinforced his opposition to referendums on 29 June 1992. 'It has traditionally been the position of the Conservative Party that we do not accept referendums. That was our position when Lady Thatcher led the Conservatives into the lobby in 1975. I recall that she quoted Lord Attlee's view of referendums as a device of demagogues and dictators.'
Pressed by a Labour MP in March last year to support a referendum, Mr Major said: 'You know very well why I think it is right that this House should decide the fate of the Maastricht treaty in all its aspects. That is the basis of parliamentary democracy . . .'
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Germany and ECB set for fight over money-printing
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
Syrian teenager Usaid Barho reveals how he escaped from Isis using a suicide vest
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Maintenance Assistant is requ...
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...