Blair says 'no' to euro

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Indy Politics

Prime Minister Tony Blair said today he would vote against joining the euro if Britain held a referendum now.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said today he would vote against joining the euro if Britain held a referendum now.

Asked about European Central Bank president Wim Duisenberg's recent comments that there was unlikely to be any further intervention to prop up the ailing currency, Blair said: "I don't think it's wise to comment on that."

But asked whether British public opinion could ever be swung in favor of the euro, Blair said: "Public opinion will make up its mind on the facts in the end.

"But as I keep saying to people, if you come along to me with an opinion poll and said do you want to join the euro today, I would say no."

He spoke during a visit to Seoul, inSouth Korea, where he is attending a Europe-Asia summit.

Later, Blair said his remarks should not be considered as a no-confidence vote in the currency.

"Absolutely not. It isn't right for Britain to join the euro at the present time because the economic conditions are not right but it's absolutely vital for Britain to keep the option of joining the euro open.

"The government's position is that we don't recommend joining the euro today. What we are saying is that in principle we want to be part of it but the economic conditions have to be right."

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