Winston Churchill

One of John Major’s early remarks when he became prime minister in November 1990 was that he wanted Britain to be at the heart of Europe. It says something for the often fractious nature of Britain’s relations with its European Community partners that this was regarded as a novel, even a controversial, statement. The comment was taken to be an implied criticism of his predecessor, Margaret Thatcher, whose dealings with other EC leaders had been more distant when they were not positively stormy.

It has been a beneficial change of tone. The new approach enabled Major to win some

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