Letter: EU threat to our public services

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The Independent Online
Sir: You are right to oppose a European single currency and Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) on grounds of democracy and the defence of our public services (3 June).

For the UK to meet the economic criteria, this will require cuts of pounds 18bn in our public services, in addition to those made in the past 17 years by this Tory government. How can anyone criticise the Tories if we in the Labour Party are willing to do the same, or even worse, in destroying those services?

These cuts are not of a temporary nature, but are a permanent feature and legal obligation set out in the Maastricht Treaty. Anyone doubting this should read the Treaty text, something the Chancellor has recently done.

The process creating the EMU and the single currency will also transfer powers on the major economic policies from democratically elected governments to European central bankers, who are appointed for eight years and who cannot be removed. Indeed a future Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer would be acting illegally even if he tried to influence those bankers on issues such as unemployment.

Many of us will find it impossible to support EMU and a single currency if it comes to a vote in Parliament. The leaders of all the political parties should realise this and should instead defend democracy and our public services.

LLEW SMITH MP

(Blaenau Gwent, Lab)

House of Commons

London SW1

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