Euro (UK Membership)

Business, Innovation and Skills – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 4th March 2010.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough 10:30 am, 4th March 2010

What recent representations he has received from businesses on UK membership of the euro.

Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

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?

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Digital Britain) (also HM Treasury), Financial Secretary (HM Treasury) (also in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

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.

Several hon. Members:

rose -