The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1992Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Press Release – Prime Minister’s Comments on Foreign Policy – 24 March 1992

Below is the text of the Conservative Party Press Release on Mr Major’s comments on foreign policy. It was issued on Tuesday 24th March 1992, reference 575/92.


“Some people regard foreign affairs as an optional extra in a British General Election. But, in truth, they are not,” the Rt Hon John Major, Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party, told a press conference at Conservative Central Office, today.

The last year has been dominated by overseas concerns: the Gulf War, the Maastricht agreement, the future of Hong Kong and its relationship with China, South Africa, human rights, the renaissance of the Commonwealth and the immense turmoil in the former Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe.

In these events the United Kingdom has played a leading role. We fought as America’s main ally in the Gulf – and successfully. We won an agreement at Maastricht against expectations – and against the opposition of some of our partners.

We safeguarded the future of Hong Kong, secured the building of the airport and sought better human rights in China and Tibet.

We promoted South Africa’s position in world talks and supported the peace talks with both President De Klerk and Mr Mandela.

And we led the way in supporting reform throughout the Russian coup, backed Russia’s application to the IMF, demanded tangible aid for the Russians and signed the first accord with them for nearly 200 years.

The future will be equally crowded. We must come to terms with the new security situation in Europe and the rest of the world.

We must fight our corner in the European Community over the Common Agricultural Policy, future financing, the Single Market, and enlargement of the EC. And we must do so as President of the Community.

We must continue to bind the Commonwealth together and encourage good government.

We must give a lead at the Rio summit.

We must retain strong defences, commission the fourth Trident submarine and command the Rapid Reaction Corps in the newly modernised NATO forces.

These are immense tasks for the immediate future. The question at this Election is a stark one. Whom can you trust to defend our interests and keep Britain safe?”