No hurdles to stop us joining the single currency, Brown tells the City
The Chancellor announced that the next Finance Bill would contain measures dealing with technical tax problems identified by business. The Inland Revenue issued a statement setting out detailed proposals for change.
In addition the Department of Trade and Industry is considering amending the Companies Act to make it easier for companies to redenominate their shares in Euros.
Mr Brown said the Government would use the UK's European presidency to launch an information campaign on the single currency, financed by the EU. He said: "We are the first British government to declare for the principle of monetary union."
He added "Clear and unambiguous economic benefits to the country will be the test." The decision would be determined by what was good for jobs and prosperity, not by dogma, he told the audience of City executives
"If anyone says they are prepared then they are lying," commented one senior investment banker.
The Chancellor was speaking at the Bank of England's second annual symposium on the City's preparations for EMU. The Bank is keen to ensure that Britain's non-participation in the first wave will not harm the City.
John Townend, head of a new Euro preparation division within the Bank, said: "Provided we complete the technical preparations, the City will thrive on the Euro, even on the outside."
He said it was essential to ensure that financial institutions in the UK were ready for trading, payments and settlements in Euro-denominated financial instruments from 1 January 1999 - just 240 working days away.
David Clementi, Bank of England Deputy Governor, will next month lead a "roadshow" selling London's merits as a centre for Euro banking to financial centres such as new York and Tokyo.
EMU is very much flavour of the week. Today also sees the launch of a broader initiative by employers' organisations to prepare British business for the start of the single currency.
Speaking on the eve of a joint Confederation of British Industry and British Chambers of Commerce EMU conference, Adair Turner, director-general of the CBI, said: "Although the UK will not be among the first wave of European Union countries to join EMU on 1 January, UK companies still need to be ready to do business in a single currency Europe."
Separately, Eddie George, Governor of the Bank of England, told a House of Lords committee that the unresolved dispute about who would head the European Central Bank threatened its credibility.
Mr George said a head from a major country like France could be perceived as trying to exert national influence.
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...