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I thank you, Mr Speaker. I was just drawing the parallels with this pernicious motion, which would destroy sterling at the moment of its introduction. We saw the coalition partner, Bob Russell give an example this very week of how on Eurostar the euro is the currency of use, not sterling. Mr Carswell wishes to impose the euro on every shop across the country, for every transaction. He would go further: he would allow the Iranian rial and other currencies to be used. When I go to buy my midget gems from the corner shop, I wish to use sterling; I do not wish to use the euro or the Iranian rial.
The idea was inspired by a paper from 1975 by Hayek, which dictated the monetary policy to which the Government are adhering. Hayek first made the proposal, to try to break down boundaries. The concepts of “ever onwards”, free trade, the breakdown of the nation state and the destruction of national currencies are really what Back-Bench Conservative Members are about; they would open the floodgates to euros at every corner shop in Britain.
We should not oppose the motion today; we should give it time, so that the arguments can be developed further, and so that we can hear the supporters’ true perspective—then we should vote it down. I resolutely stand up for sterling and the corner shop, and oppose the euro and the attempt to impose it on us, but I do not seek to divide the House. Let us give the hon. Member for Clacton more time to put forward his case, and let us then destroy him in the vote.
Question put and agreed to.
Mr Douglas Carswell accordingly presented the Bill.
Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on