Adjournment (Christmas)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:09 pm on 19th December 1990.

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Photo of Mr John Biffen Mr John Biffen , North Shropshire 5:09 pm, 19th December 1990

No: it is a technique that I admire.

The inflationary difficulties that we have experienced in recent years derived precisely from when we tried to shadow the deutschmark a few years ago. The lessons that I draw from that are precisely the opposite of those drawn by my hon. Friend.

Of course one would like a degree of relative stability in these matters. It is perfectly possible to have a system of proper and responsible monetary and fiscal policies that will produce that. That is the responsibility of national politicians and Governments answering in this Parliament. Indeed, it can be argued that, since 1979, there has been a period when those policies produced considerable advantageous movements in the exchange rate.

We shall debate that some other time. I want to return to the crucial point of whether we have joined the exchange rate mechanism at a level that will place us at a permanent disadvantage.