EMU adds to financial markets' uncertainty
Tuesday 04 July 1995
Unless the Conservatives stage a near-miraculous recovery at the polls, however, all this will be largely irrelevant. On present form, a Labour government will have to make the fateful decision on whether or not to participate in monetary union in 1999. Yet as the Conservatives wheel ever-closer to rejecting even the "opt-out" compromise, the implications of this gathering head of steam against EMU need to be taken on board by financial markets.
Can Britain afford to stand aside if others decide to forge ahead with monetary union? Lord Lawson told a conference of top bankers yesterday that "we can and must" do just that. Basing his position on constitutional grounds - that monetary union and political union "must stand or fall together" - he said Britain could afford to go it alone. In particular, there was no reason why the City should lose its position as the financial capital of Europe and as one of the three great financial centres of the world.
By contrast, a former governor of the Bank of England, Lord Kingsdown, warned against the dangers of assuming that EMU would not happen. That was the mistake Britain had made 40 years ago in Messina before the birth of the European Community. Britain would face a severe competitive handicap if we dithered on the sidelines hoping that EMU would go away.
The argument will clearly run and run. While most still argue about the big issue, some already have their minds on the nitty gritty, which can make highly alarming reading. Speaking at the same conference, Richard Allen of Apacs, the payment clearing association, said the minimum cost of switching payments systems to a common currency will be pounds 914m. This massive enterprise will take at least three years and must be based upon "irrevocable political will".
That is something that doesn't seem thick on the ground at the moment. EMU is billed as the project to end the uncertainties that attend floating exchange rates, the crowning glory of European integration. In practice it is injecting a whole new area of uncertainty into financial markets.
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
Which country would be hardest to invade?
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
UK weather: Severe weather warning for snow and torrential rain over bank holiday weekend
Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
iJobs Money & Business
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...