Below are extracts of Mr Major’s comments on the British beef ban, made during an interview in Florence held on Friday 21st June 1996.
As a matter of fact we have made great progress on that and as orders come up, and I am sure will, they will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. That has been announced by the Presidency and agreed by the European Council this morning. In addition to that, of course, this matter is now before the European Court, it was before the Court a few days ago and it is very probable that we will get an interim judgement within seven to ten days so that matter will speedily go away.
[Mr Major was asked if relations with the European Union had been restored and if the country was back in usual negotiations].
Yes, of course we are. These things happen. In a community of nations like the European Union, there are going to be squabbles from time to time. This has been a squabble, we had something that we had to sort out, it wasn’t something that could have waited, it was necessary to bring it to a speedy and rapid conclusion. That is what we have done. In the eight weeks after this affair began, no progress was made. In the last four weeks we have made a great deal of progress, we have agreed a framework document, we have agreed an eradication plan, we have agreed how we are going to proceed, we have made a lot of progress and I think that is very satisfactory all round.