Mandelson moves to heal split over euro

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Indy Politics

Peter Mandelson last night sought to heal the cabinet split over the single currency by saying the decision on entry should be taken on economic rather than political grounds.

Peter Mandelson last night sought to heal the cabinet split over the single currency by saying the decision on entry should be taken on economic rather than political grounds.

Addressing the Britain in Europe group in London the Northern Ireland Secretary rejected pro-euro campaigners' demands for an early assessment of whether the country was meeting the five tests for membership. "The economics of joining... are fundamental to any decision. Britain cannot afford a repeat of the ERM [exchange-rate mechanism] - joining at the wrong time, at the wrong rate, for the wrong reasons," he said.

Mr Mandelson added: "There should be no confusion about where our national interest lies. It lies overwhelmingly in Europe. To pretend otherwise is to put politics before economics and wishful thinking before the facts.

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