EC Treaty Battle Shifts to London; Major Pledges No Sovereignty Loss

Associated Press

With the fate of the European unity treaty hanging on a final battle in Parliament now that Denmark has ratified the pact, British Prime Minister John Major acknowledged Wednesday that there is widespread concern about losing national sovereignty.

But he insisted: "It simply will not happen, the British won't have it."

It is not at all certain the British will "have" the Maastricht Treaty--which requires the ratification of all 12 European Community nations.

Major expects to win a vote in the House of Commons today, moving the ratification bill on to the House of Lords, where the opposition will be led by Major's formidable predecessor, Margaret Thatcher.

Appealing to the anti-unity rebels in his Conservative Party, Major pledged Wednesday that the treaty wouldn't turn the European Community into a "centralist, federalist superstate."

In Copenhagen, Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen defended police who--in a rare use of firearms and force--wounded at least 10 leftist protesters in a melee early Wednesday that broke out shortly after Danish voters approved the Maastricht Treaty.

Rasmussen said their action "was the only way to secure life." Twenty-four police officers were injured in the most serious confrontation with anti-government demonstrators in decades.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World