Labour stands on pro-euro platform

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LABOUR IS to sign up to a European election manifesto praising the single currency, calling for more economic co-ordination and job creation across the continent and arguing for greater efforts to combat "harmful" tax competition.

A draft of the document, due to be finalised at a meeting in Brussels today, will commit Tony Blair to fighting this summer's elections on its most pro-European platform ever.

The draft manifesto, compiled for the Party of European Socialists of which Labour is a member, calls for "closer economic co-ordination aimed at ensuring sustainable growth and high levels of employment".

It lavishes praise on the euro which, it says, will protect the continent from currency speculation, "allow for lower interest rates and contribute to a new and more stable financial world system".

On the thorny issue of tax policy, the document concludes that the euro means "better co-ordination to prevent harmful tax competition in the form of unfair tax breaks and hidden subsidies".

Although amendments will be debated at today's meeting, Labour is certain to endorse the final document because Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary, has been instrumental in its drafting.