Politcs - Single Currency: Brown won't be hurried on euro

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GORDON BROWN defied growing pressure by pro-Europeans to launch an all-out campaign for Britain's entry to the euro yesterday, insisting that he would not make an assessment on whether to join until after the next general election.

"I have made it absolutely clear. We have set our tests for joining the euro. They are tests based on the national interest. These are the right tests for Britain and these are the tests that will be applied at the appropriate time," the Chancellor said.

Giving evidence to the Commons Treasury Select Committee, Mr Brown reaffirmed that he had no intention of replacing the Bank of England's inflation target with an exchange-rate target to prepare Britain for joining the single currency or of rejoining the European exchange-rate mechanism.

He also renewed his pledge that he would not support any European Union proposals to "impose" a withholding tax on savings that would penalise Britain. "We are also negotiating the exemption of the euro bond market from the withholding tax for Britain," he added.