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Businessweek Archives

Britain


International Outlook: GLOBAL WRAPUP

BRITAIN

Although she is no longer leading the nation, the combative Margaret Thatcher is still vigorously pushing her own views. The result could be an internal battle in the ruling Conservative Party. In a recent New York speech, Thatcher railed against a German-dominated European Community and strongly repeated her opposition to a single European currency.

Meanwhile, in a Mar. 11 speech in Bonn, Prime Minister John Major distanced himself from Thatcher's anti-European stance by warmly endorsing the EC. Although he reiterated Britain's cautious stance on EC unity, Major's pro-EC tone marked a decisive shift from Thatcher's politics. The two are also likely to clash over the fate of Thatcher's unpopular per-head "poll tax." Major seems ready to abandon it.

With a sizable following among right-wing members of Parliament, Thatcher is setting up a foundation to promote her views. If Major moves too far from her thinking, particularly in yielding British sovereignty to the EC, she could provoke a public split.EDITED BY JOHN PEARSON


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