The Vote of Confidence: Fear of election ends rebellion
Saturday 24 July 1993
If there was to be an election, a Labour administration or Lib-Lab coalition would be '10 times worse' than anything he feared from the treaty, he said during the day-long debate on the confidence motion.
'This is a decision taken by me on my own terms . . . I will not in any way resile from the objections I have to this treaty, but I am damned if I will have Labour running the affairs of this country within the Maastricht arrangements.'
Another former rebel, Richard Shepherd, MP for Aldridge Brownhills, reasserted his belief in the need for a referendum on Maastricht, but said that 'one day' the Government would be 'a fine government' worthy of the Conservative Party and the country.
Appealing to Mr Cash and his colleagues to support the Government, Sir Edward Heath said it was not real democracy if a small group could defy or bring to nothing decisions of the Commons. The rebels had lost the battle. He believed John Major would be immensely strengthened by the vote because people would recognise he had acted speedily and boldly.
Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary, in what he described as 'the last speech in the last debate on the ratification of the Maastricht treaty', went out of his way to be generous to the sceptics. 'I heartily disagreed with them. I often wished they would go away, go to bed, get lost. But I don't doubt that their struggle, their arguments, will find a remembered place in the annals of parliamentary history.'
He said they had to talk more intelligently in the Conservative Party, the House and the country about the future. The Liberal Democrat threat to the Conservatives at Christchurch again made them the target for ministerial scorn. Mr Hurd said Paddy Ashdown had 'the gifts of a master tailor - skilled at measuring and fitting his opinions to his audience'.
The Liberal Democrat leader said Mr Major's party was 'so riven by civil war, so infected by its own internal emnity' that it could no longer provide effective, united government. 'When he forces his colleagues into the division lobbies to vote for his motion and for him, they will not be expressing confidence in him. They will be expressing no confidence in their capacity to hold their seats under his leadership.'
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Malaysia Airlines: Search for true identity of passengers with stolen passports launched as terrorism concern grows
Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
International Women’s Day: 'When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch' - feminist quotes from female icons to inspire you
Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
White people become less racist just by moving to more diverse areas, study finds
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 4 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...