No 10 files shed light on Tory party battles about future of the European Union

John Major awarded himself “a full gloat” after seeing off challenges by William Rees-Mogg and parliamentary Eurosceptic rebels over the Maastricht treaty, confidential files from Downing Street reveal.

Gruelling political battles over the future of the EU are recorded along with the fact that before Black Wednesday, when the pound dropped out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, the Treasury sold about $30bn of foreign currencies in an attempt to defend sterling – some of it obtained through a secret deal.

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