Mr Kohl had privately made it clear to Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary, that the other 10 member states would not go ahead without Britain or Denmark. Therefore, British officials said, they would not interpret Mr Kohl's remark as a hard and fast deadline. 'We expect to go ahead as 12,' a government official said. 'We expect to ratify the treaty. We'll do it as soon as we can.'
Mr Kohl told reporters during a visit to New Delhi: 'The European Community will go ahead to pursue European unity with 10 nations.' He added: 'I hope and trust that ratifications will come from all countries within six months. In case they don't, we will go ahead anyway.'