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 Standing up for Britain – 6 April 1992

Below is the text of the Conservative Party Press Release on Mr Major’s comments on standing up for Britain. It was issued on Monday 6th April 1992, reference 802/92.


“Our international standing has been transformed in the 1980s. A Conservative Government has ensured that Britain plays a leading role in both the European Community and the wider world,” the Rt Hon John Major, Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party, told a press conference at Conservative Central Office today.

Before the end of this year, there will be seven summits at which we will be called upon to play a crucial role. Our ability to do so depends not only on the strong leadership that comes from Conservative Government. The strength of our country abroad – the respect in which it is held – is founded on the authority of our Government in Parliament and the Union of our nations.

On Thursday, the British people will be electing a new Parliament for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – as they have done at General Elections for generations. There is only one party in this election which stands firmly for the integrity of our Parliament and our United Kingdom.

Let me set out for you the dangers to the United Kingdom posed at this election.

First, the other parties would put at risk the links between Scotland and England which have held us together for nearly three hundred years.

Their policies could lead on to the disaster of full separation.

Second, they plan a new, expensive and unwanted layer of government in England which would drain authority from Parliament.

Third, their enthusiasm for a federal Europe would increasingly surrender the independence of our Parliament to Brussels.

Fourth, the voting system that the Liberals want, and Labour are flirting with, would change the way that the crucial decisions as to who governs Britain would be made. They would be taken not by the electorate at Parliamentary elections, but by politicians after elections. I cannot believe that is right.

The result would be government so weak it could never take strong decisions. The need to do deals before doing anything else makes it unimaginable that we could ever have responded to the crises in the Falklands or the Gulf with such speed and success.

In this election, the Conservative Party is putting forward its positive policies for the verdict of the voter. The Opposition parties are already trying to trade policies between each other, even before the voters have had their say.

So let me put it bluntly. The choice is between the Conservative Party, which would stand up for Britain, and the Liberal and Labour parties, which could break up Britain. If the changes pledged by the other parties took place, power would pass increasingly from the British voter to politicians and bureaucrats, both here and abroad.”