John Major announces that the British broadcasting ban will be relaxed and commits to a referendum on the political future of Northern Ireland.

On his first visit to Northern Ireland since the ceasefire, British Prime Minister John Major made a gesture to Sinn Féin by lifting the broadcasting ban that prevents their members from being heard on television and radio in the United Kingdom.  

On his brief visit to Belfast, John Major had a meeting with Belfast Lord Mayor Hugh Smith and also met leaders of the main churches who gave their assessment of the mood in both the catholic and protestant communities. 

At a press conference, the Prime Minister announced the lifting of the broadcasting ban and also revealed plans for a referendum on the political future of Northern Ireland and how it should be governed. The lifting of the broadcasting ban meant that Sinn Féin could say directly whether the ceasefire was in fact permanent.  

Sinn Féin can put it in any words they like provided it is unambiguous.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 September 1994. The reporter is David Davin-Power.