LETTER: Ranting about European monetary union

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The Independent Online
rom Mr Christopher Haskins

Sir: Hamish McRae is perfectly entitled to be against European monetary union ("Why the ranters are right about EMU", 22 December). But he himself is beginning to rant when he brands as "stupid" those who believe in the idea - the leaders of 14 out of the 15 members.

Throughout the development of the European movement its supporters have been berated in this way, yet time and again they have proved correct. What's different this time?

Of course the implementation of monetary union is fraught with institutional and fiscal difficulties. But the tide of history is running towards greater economic as well as political harmony between states, and EMU is part of that process.

The need for the transfer of funds from the better-off to the less well-off regions of the Community is well-established, and will be reinforced in the future because of both EMU and enlargement. The idea that the United States economy only works because the population is perpetually on the move is a bit far-fetched.

So, we come back to the issue of devaluation - the last resort instrument that has plagued the British economy since the War. EMU most certainly rules that option out in the future - one of the strongest reasons for supporting it!

With the sad exception of the United Kingdom, the European political leaders continue to show imagination and courage in pressing on with EMU, despite the obstacles. They most certainly are not being stupid.

Yours faithfully

Christopher Haskins

Chairman

Northern Foods

Hull, East Yorkshire

21 December

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