Cabinet to set out route-map to euro

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A marathon meeting of the Cabinet will today finally decide the Government's position on Britain's preparedness for joining the euro.

Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, will make his long-awaited statement on the single currency on Monday but he has agreed with Tony Blair that the detail of its content will be the responsibility of the Cabinet.

Today's gathering will start at 3pm and is expected to last for at least two hours - possibly much longer.

Pro-euro members of the Government are confident that although the verdict on the five economic tests will be "not yet", Mr Blair and Mr Brown will agree to a route-map for British membership of the euro.

The Prime Minister hinted last week that the Treasury would announce a series of measures intended to improve the prospect of passing the tests. "That is one of the things that we will be talking about when we publish the assessment on 9 June," he said.

Leading pro-euro trade unionists, including Kevin Curran, the new GMB general secretary, last night wrote to Mr Blair to urge him to hold a referendum by next spring.

* Catherine Meyer, wife of the former British ambassad-or to America Sir Christopher Meyer, was appointed with the Labour MP Frank Field to co-chair Vote 2004, a campaign for a referendum on the proposed EU constitution.