Single Currency

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1996.

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Photo of Mr Llew Smith Mr Llew Smith , Blaenau Gwent 12:00 am, 17th June 1996

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what evaluation he has made of attitudes towards a single currency expressed in the bi-annual survey of business opinion published on 4 June by the Institute of Directors in Wales. [31657]

Photo of William Hague William Hague Secretary of State for Wales

None. A decision about a single currency will be made if and when necessary.

Photo of Mr Llew Smith Mr Llew Smith , Blaenau Gwent

Does the Secretary of State accept that cuts of £18,000 million will be necessary to meet the convergence criteria for a single currency? Which services are most likely to be cut? Will it be health, education or social services? Does he also accept that almost all the major economic decisions would be transferred from democratically elected Parliaments to the most powerful quango not only in Wales but in the world—the European central bank?

Photo of William Hague William Hague Secretary of State for Wales

Future taxation and spending decisions are for the Government and for my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. On any transfer of decision making, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has said that we shall not do anything that would damage the nation state. If we thought that any action would do so, we would choose the nation state.

Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North

Has my right hon. Friend observed Welsh and overseas reaction to the proposed single currency, notably in Germany yesterday where workers are on strike and are expressing their feelings about expenditure cuts by the German Government? What does my right hon. Friend think?

Photo of William Hague William Hague Secretary of State for Wales

That emphasises my point that any decision on a single currency should be taken at the appropriate time, and that any positive recommendation to join should be put to a referendum.