Outlook: Euro membership
Tuesday 07 September 1999
Several things have changed to help the Government blow warmer over the summer, quite apart from the PM's holiday in Euroland. The painful memory of the European elections has receded a little. The new currency itself has improved its performance on the foreign exchanges. The key economies, Germany, France and Italy, are more clearly picking up, and the latter two at any rate have quietly moved further along the path of structural economic reform.
Just as important is the extent to which the UK is now out on a limb in Europe. Public sentiment has shifted in favour of membership in the other once strongly eurosceptic country, Denmark. Greece will join as soon as ever it is allowed. The UK has the hurdle of the Chancellor's five economic tests to overcome before the Government can recommend joining the euro. However, few people recognise the extent to which these tests are a matter of judgement rather than fact. Will membership be good for British jobs? Or investment? We cannot know unless we go ahead, but the Government could judge in favour at almost any stage.
The other hurdle is how to get the pound down to a more comfortable level for entry. The present sterling-euro exchange rate is too uncompetitive to lock in permanently. On the other hand, although announcing the UK's intention to join might well send the pound lower, setting a firm exchange rate target would be unrealistic. The markets could ignore it, and our European partners would anyway insist on a mutually acceptable level. Either way, the Government seems to have recovered its nerve a little on the single currency, which if nothing else, ought to make for a more entertaining general election a couple of years hence than seemed likely a few months back.
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...
£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...