December 12 1991: Maastricht Treaty hailed as great leap forward despite Major concessions

European leaders, spearheaded by Chancellor Helmut Kohl, yesterday hailed the results of the Maastricht summit as a great leap forward in an irreversible process of integration and played down concessions granted to John Major.

French and German politicians closed ranks to present Britain as the great loser of the 31 hours of intense negotiations on economic/monetary and political union while underlining to a sceptical public opinion that Britain would be forced to join in fully sooner or later.

But Dr Kohl’s euphoria about his success in imposing the German model of currency union was punctuated by open expressions of disappointment, not least within his own Christian Democratic Union, about the relatively meagre progress in establishing political union.

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