The Department has received no such representations recently.
I am amazed at that response from the Minister. Is it not a fact that the floating of the pound and the depreciation of sterling have been enormously useful to small businesses and manufacturers in this country, making their goods cheaper abroad and making imports more expensive? Is it not great news that we still have the pound, and will the Government now give up their policy of taking us into the euro?
The Government's policy remains as it was when it was set out by the previous Chancellor in a statement to the House in October 1997, and when the last assessment against the five tests was made in June 2003, when we said that
"we cannot at this point in time conclude that there is sustainable and durable convergence or sufficient flexibility to cope with any potential difficulties within the euro area."
The whole House will see exactly what we meant.