Letter: It's there in black and white: the right to act solely in our interest over EMU is long gone

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The Independent Online
For Gordon Brown to claim that we will enter Phase Three of European Monetary Union when "it is in the national interest" to do so would indicate that he wants to follow Kenneth Clarke in his claim never to have read the Maastricht Treaty ("Labour promises referendum on single European currency", 17 November).

Article 103 of the Maastricht Treaty, in Phase One and Two of EMU (and therefore committed to by the present Government), says: "Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall co-ordinate them with the Council, in accordance of Article 102a." Article 102a states that "Member States shall conduct their economic policies with a view to contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the Community". Combining these two articles with the Stability Pact means that Britain will, under Phases One and Two of EMU, have already given up her rights to conduct her economic policy for the sole benefit of the British people, independently of Brussels and without approval from other EU members.

The national interest by the time of Phase Three of EMU would have already disappeared and been replaced by the EU's common interest. Whether we choose to settle our transactions in sterling, euros, Clarkos or Brownies is irrelevant if we have ceded control to Brussels over the fundamental economic tools.

Douglas Ellison

London SE3