Heseltine turns Euro-sceptic

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MICHAEL Heseltine, again being canvassed as a possible Tory leader in the event of a party crisis, last night sounded a Euro-sceptic note by admitting that the markets had beaten governments on exchange rate policy, writes Donald Macintyre.

In terms which will encourage speculation that a Hesel tine ticket could attract some right-wing support, the President of the Board of Trade also said the European single market was 'over regulated, over protected, and over centralised'. He added: 'We now have Eurosclerosis.'

Delivering the Stockton lecture in London, Mr Heseltine said: 'The markets have shown they now have the power to over-ride the exchange rate targets of governments whenever they believe financing difficulties are critical enough.'

The remark will be interpreted by some MPs as indicating that Mr Heseltine no longer believes Britain will re- enter the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.