Letter: Tory Eurocynics

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Sir: It was disappointing to see Anne McElvoy troop out the old canard about "EMU's dirty little secret" (Comment, 25 June). It is simply not the case that "without harmonisation of tax, pensions and eventually welfare provision, [EMU] cannot be sustained". That is not the case in the United States, so why should it be in the euro-zone? There is a much stronger case to argue that different tax rates will on the contrary be essential to EMU, as an adjustment mechanism to take some of the slack of a single monetary policy.

I cannot think of a single mainstream EU politician calling for such a degree of harmonisation. Either Anne McElvoy believes that this question has not occurred to EU leaders, or she has joined the ranks of the conspiracy theorists who see EU politicians intent on tricking their peoples into a superstate. It is difficult to decide which of these options is the less plausible.

Even at the high-water mark of "can do" integrationism, with the 1989 Delors Committee report, harmonisation of tax, pensions and welfare was not proposed. It remains nothing more than a Eurosceptic spectre.


Watford, Hertfordshire