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Redwood's warning

BRITAIN could be forced to enter the single currency with the pound at its current high rate, the Conservatives' trade and industry spokesman John Redwood claimed last night, writes Fran Abrams.

The agreement signed at the weekend dictates that the 11 countries joining the euro will do so at their mid-rates for the exchange rate mechanism. If Britain does the same, it will go into the currency at DM2.95 to the pound.

The Treasury dismissed the claims as "just plain wrong". It said Britain would negotiate the level at which it should go in when the time came.