U.K. Prime Minister John Major said Wednesday there will be no renegotiation of the Maastricht Treaty on European political and monetary union at the European Community summit in Edinburgh on Dec. 11.
At a press briefing following talks with heads of eastern European governments, Mr. Major said the treaty was not up for renegotiation, only fine-tuning and clarification following the Danish rejection of the treaty in a June referendum.A government spokesman predicted Wednesday that Mr. Major will win a Nov. 4 vote in the House of Commons on a motion, as yet unwritten, that the U.K. Parliament continue the process of ratifying the treaty.
There has been widespread speculation that the government could lose the vote, because a substantial number of Mr. Major's own Conservative back- benchers have announced their intention to vote against the motion.
Mr. Major said that earlier Wednesday, he had seen Danish proposals for clarifications in the treaty that would enable that country's government to
put Maastricht back before the Danish people early next year.
"The Danes are not asking for a renegotiation of what is in the Maastricht Treaty," Mr. Major said. "What they will be asking for is some additions and clarifications to the treaty, and we will attempt to reach a framework for agreeing that in Edinburgh."
New compromise plans from Denmark on EC union call for binding opt-outs
from Maastricht goals and from plans for a common currency, central bank, defense, judiciary, police and citizenship.
The 3,000-page Danish document, dubbed the "National Compromise," also calls for more openness in EC affairs as well as the introduction of the concept of "subsidiarity," the idea that decisions should be made at the most local effective level.
"It must be stressed that Denmark, and only Denmark, will decide on its social standards and welfare distribution policy," the document said.
In return for agreement to its demands, the proposals say Denmark "will not prevent the other 11 members from going ahead" on any elements of Maastricht.
A formal decision to approach Denmark's EC partners with the proposal was expected Oct. 30 after a full parliamentary debate.
Denmark's June 2 referendum rejection of the pact plunged the EC into disarray over the issue of European union.