He was speaking after the European Court of Justice ruled that Britain must introduce a maximum working week of 48 hours (averaged over a four months' period) and guaranteed holiday pay despite the government's objections.
The court rejected most of the UK government's challenge to the working hours directive, but it agreed to remove the requirement that Sunday should be part of the statutorily-backed time off.
Mr Major said the law was a bad one and did nothing to create jobs. He made clear he intended to carry out his threat to disrupt European business, saying there comes a time when you have to say 'No'.
'And we shall go to the inter-governmental conference and we shall insist on reversing this legislation at the inter-governmental conference and taking further measures there, also, to ensure there can be no repeat of similar legislation in the future'.
The Confederation of British Industry called for speedy legislation on the directive - although it does not want the measures - to ensure there is no confusion for employers.