Single Currency

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 2000.

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Photo of Gordon Brown Gordon Brown The Chancellor of the Exchequer 12:00 am, 20th July 2000

I thought that the shadow Chancellor would answer the point that I put to him. If it is in the economic interest to join, we would consider doing so, would apply the five tests and put the matter to a referendum. The decision will therefore be made in the country's economic interests. The five tests refer to employment—which I would have thought the right hon. Gentleman was concerned about—investment, all the sectors of the economy, the flexibility of our economy and the durability of convergence. That is the right way in which to make the decision, and then put it to the people, if that is our recommendation.

The position of the shadow Chancellor and his hon. Friends is not respectable. He has said: I can't see the circumstances in which I would be in favour of a single currency. However, a year or two before that, the shadow Chancellor told the Welsh Conservatives: Keep our options open on EMU. He said that that was best for Britain. Sooner or later, the shadow Chancellor will have to answer questions, not only about £16 billion of spending cuts, but about the euro. Is he for or against the euro in principle? We have made our decision and are for the euro in principle, where the benefits in trade, investment and jobs are shown, and we will put it to the economic test. The question for the Conservatives, who have not got past first base on this issue, is do they oppose the euro in principle, or do they support it? Yes or no?