LETTERS : In for a penny, in for an ecu?

Share
YOUR European contributors Tony Barber and Andrew Marshall do no one any favours by continually presenting anywhere south of Calais and north of Italy as a unified haven of moral, political, and social certainty ("Europe bets on single currency", 5 February).

Under this scenario, doubt begins at Dover not because it is justified but solely because the UK is combative by nature and suspicious of intellectual visions, particularly those originating in Brussels or Strasbourg.

The fact is that whatever Britain does, the single currency ambition contains huge political and economic risks for mainland Europe. Curiously the central bankers can see this but the politicians cannot; and to their credit the German bankers, upon whom the responsibility for administering this great white elephant will eventually devolve, can see it clearer than most.

Like the visionaries who promote it, I love the idea of having all my European transactions in one currency, but unlike them I do not perceive anything resembling the necessary European institutions to control it.

We are years away from the political structures needed to give the average European voter a say in how those institutions behave. The convenient fiction that every sensible person in Europe is "for" and only the British are "against" is stifling debate in Europe on what is an important practical (but not moral) issue.

Regrettably the European ideal appears to have been kidnapped by a French political movement still fighting the battles of the first half of the 20th century and which believes that European peace is still the main issue, and that this will be secured by tying up Germany in a huge pan- European institutional web. Politicians tend to theorise in centralist and bureaucratic ways and they have now been joined by those who can see where this huge bureaucracy will have to be based.

The real tragedy is not the creation of an institution that will make the Common Agriculture Policy seem a model of efficiency and good sense. It is about priorities. The 21st century is going to be about the emergence of China and the other large Asian economies, the future of the United States and, above all, the environment and our claims on resources. In Europe we will probably be too busy quarrelling about regulations and political authority to notice.

Tony Aston

Sevenoaks, Kent

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: .NET Web Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity for a t...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£14616 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading specialist in Electronic Ci...

Recruitment Genius: Pre-Press / Mac Operator / Artworker - Digital & Litho Print

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: With year on year growth and a reputation for ...

Recruitment Genius: Project Manager - Live Virtual Training / Events

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Manager is required t...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

FIFA awarded the World Cup to a state where slavery is actively facilitated

Aidan McQuade
 

The strange absence of women on our cultural landscape, and what I decided to do about it

Sian Norris
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003