News The refurbished residence of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst in Limburg, Germany

As a concession to belt-tightening, the decision by a sybaritic German bishop to take a budget airline flight to Rome, is looking like too little, too late.

Deputy Speaker faces Maastricht challenge: Commons ruling on amendment to treaty legislation is criticised

A RARE Commons challenge was tabled last night to a ruling by Michael Morris, the Deputy Speaker, who has refused MPs a vote on a critical amendment to the Maastricht treaty legislation.

But we are good Europeans . . .: David Howell argues that the split over Maastricht can still end in Tory unity

AS THE Maastricht debate has dragged on it has made good copy to suggest that the wounds in the Tory Party run too deep ever to be healed. Now, with an end in sight to the Committee stage of the Maastricht Bill, it is even suggested that the party is heading for an outright split, a repeat of the 1840s split over the Repeal of the Corn Laws - with William Cash presumably in the role of the virulent young Disraeli and John Major as an unyielding Robert Peel.

Government slips free of Maastricht defeats: Retreat denies MPs a vote on Social Chapter

The Government slipped free of embarrassing Commons defeat over the Maastricht treaty last night, avoiding votes on which a cross-party coalition threatened its majority.

Commons poised for chaotic night

THE COMMONS faces a night of possible confusion and chaos tonight, when it returns to committee stage examination of the Maastricht treaty legislation, writes Anthony Bevins.

Treaty rebels attacked over 'war of attrition': Heseltine raises the stakes in struggle with Conservative opponents of Maastricht

CONSERVATIVE backbench rebels were accused by Michael Heseltine yesterday of waging 'a long war of attrition' over the Maastricht treaty.

EC set to impose works councils

MANY LARGE British companies are likely to have new EC labour relations laws imposed on them regardless of the wishes of the Government or Britain's exclusion from the social provisions of the Maastricht treaty.

Letter: Concern about Maastricht's Social Chapter

Sir: Andrew Marr may display an impeccable grasp of the politics of Maastricht ratification, but his appreciation of the implications of the Social Chapter is more open to question ('The 'get Major' game is for real', 2 April). I am not sure who the experts are who believe that the Maastricht Social Protocol will allow nothing that cannot already be done under the existing treaty, but I can assure him that those who speak for employers - in the EC as a whole, not just in the UK - take a very different view.

John Major: Hardened, but not focused: He has climbed the slippery pole, but where is he going? Donald Macintyre reports

LAST Tuesday evening John Major sat down to dinner at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors with 60 pro- European Tory MPs. The pounds 35-a-head meal was not particularly memorable and the occasion was frequently interrupted so that MPs could go to the Commons to take part in votes on the Maastricht Bill. The Prime Minister's mere presence, of course, was enough to incense hard-line Euro-rebels, though there was little in what was said they could object to.

Major faces Cabinet split if he loses Maastricht vote

JOHN MAJOR is facing a Cabinet split over the tactics the Government should adopt if it is defeated in Parliament over Maastricht. A defeat could arise if Tory rebels unite behind a Labour amendment which seeks to force the Government to accept the social chapter.

Maastricht vote set to split cabinet

(First Edition)

Democracy laid low by Europhilia

THE RANK emanations of moribund Maastricht are infecting democratic institutions throughout Europe. They are attacking democracy at its most vital junction: the connection between the electorate and the elected. In matters affecting the proposed and already crumbling Treaty on European Union, persons elected as national representatives are behaving as if they are no longer responsible to those who actually elected them but already to a notional European consensus which does not, in fact, exist.

Treaty 'timebomb' pressure grows: Tory loyalists put on war footing as whips prepare for tight vote on Maastricht after Easter recess

GOVERNMENT WHIPS put all ministers and backbenchers on a war footing yesterday for the day the Commons returns from its Easter break, 14 April, when a vote is expected on Labour's 'timebomb' new clause amendment to the Maastricht treaty legislation.

Maastricht ratification faces fresh onslaught: Labour's Commons move could threaten Major's future as Prime Minister

A STRONG all-party threat to block ratification of the Maastricht treaty opened up in the Commons last night.

Double threat to Maastricht in Commons: Tory and Labour clause additions to treaty Bill described as 'killer amendments'

A DOUBLE threat is being posed to ratification of the Maastricht treaty, Conservative and Labour critics of the agreement said yesterday.

Mr Major's house of horror: Welcome to the nerve centre of anti-Maastricht operations, and the word from Lord Tebbit as given to John Torode

THIS weekend Sir Edward Heath turned the screws on the Tory anti-Maastricht party-within-a-party. 'If they want an election on Maastricht they can form their own party' he told Channel 4, adding that John Major should assert his authority by not being 'quite so nice' to the rebels. Decoded, the former prime minister's message to the current leader was that it was time for a purge.
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