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Last Updated: Friday, 23 May, 2003, 19:13 GMT 20:13 UK
The euro investigation
Photo of sterling and euros in a rubbish bin
The Treasury Committee sorts the cash from the trash
The troublesome question of whether the UK should join the euro edges one step closer to resolution with Gordon Brown's announcement on 9 June.

The Chancellor's statement to the House of Commons about how the UK has measured up to the five economic tests he set down in November 1997.

The Treasury Committee has made a valuable contribution to the debate about the euro.

It took evidence from the biggest economic brains in the business in over three months of scrutiny, beginning with oral evidence in December 2002

Working it out

Gordon Brown, the Governor of the Bank of England - Sir Edward George - and the European Commission's Director General of Economic and Financial Affairs - Klaus Regling - were among 25 different groups of witnesses called.

As well as 15 formal evidence sessions, the Committee made several visits - within the UK and Europe - to complete their picture of the euro and how it works.

The Committee described a two-fold purpose to: "examine the basis for the Chancellor's current assessment of the five economic tests."

And to: "review the workings of the Economic and Monetary Union since January 1999 with particular reference to the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and the European Central Bank (ECB), and examine the implications for UK membership of the Single European Currency."


When it produced its report at the end of April there were dozens of recommendations for the Chancellor and his Treasury team to bear in mind in their decision-making.

They drew particular attention to the need for greater transparency in the operation of the ECB, more flexibility in the SGP, more flexible labour markets and a more informed public debate.

BBC Parliament spoke to two members of the Committee about the group's conclusions.

The Labour MP for Wallasey, Angela Eagle, was sceptical about the "sporadic" media coverage but praised the efforts of the BBC's websites.

Conservative MP for Chichester Andrew Tyrie had strong feelings about the operation of the ECB and claimed, "a referendum now would be a mistake".

You can watch Gordon Brown's statement on the euro live on BBC Parliament on 9 June from 1530BST

BBC Parliament interviews the Treasury Committee
Andrew Tyrie: "The biggest economic decision the government will take this Parliament"


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