Letter: European monetary and political union

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The Independent Online
Sir: The anti-Europeans' claim that last week's attack on the pound, and the Danish and French referendums, must alter the support which the House of Commons has three times given to the Maastricht treaty.

But it has been long agreed that the European Monetary System is vulnerable to just the kind of speculative attack which took place last week and that a much stronger monetary union was needed. Everyone also agreed, including the Germans, that European economic policy should not be run by one national bank. Last week the Bundesbank got the revaluation it wanted, at a severe cost to the credibility of the pound and of the British government.

Unless we want to go back to a pound held up by interest rates alone, uncertain exchange rates and the wage-price spiral we know so well, it is in the British interest now, as it was two weeks ago, to have the monetary union embodied in the Maastricht treaty.

And, with the extremely dangerous situation in Bosnia, which we all know about, and in Eastern Europe, which we have so far ignored, we need a political union to keep the Community facing in the same direction. And the Germans need political union urgently to change their Constitution to deal with the flood of refugees.

The Europeans have explained why we believe that Maastricht is in the British interest. Let the anti-Europeans drop their rhetoric for a moment and spell out in practical terms where they want to take us and, in a battle of one naked national interest against another, who they think would win.

Yours faithfully,

FRED CATHERWOOD

MEP for Cambridge and North Bedfordshire (Con)

Cambridge

21 September

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