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

One normally starts a debate by saying where one stands on principle. Do the Conservatives support the single currency, or oppose it? Do they believe that the constitutional issues are an insuperable objection, or not? Do they believe that the economic tests matter, and that if the economic conditions were met they would join? Would they put the issue to the British people in a referendum? Those are four questions that not one Member of the Conservative Front Bench can now answer, because while they do not rule out the single currency in principle, they rule it out for the next Parliament and want to imply that they have ruled it out in principle.

We will make the five economic assessments, and we will put the matter to the British people if our decision is that yes, we could join. We have already stated where we stand on the principle, on the constitutional issue and on the question of whether the economic conditions are met. I ask the shadow Chancellor again: does he support the euro single currency or does he oppose it—yes or no?