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Monday, 8 July, 2002, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Euro tests: Your reaction
Chancellor Gordon Brown has said there will be no fudging on the UK's decision to join the euro in his keynote Mansion House speech.

Calling it Britain's "biggest peacetime economic decision", he stressed there would be no short-cuts when measuring the effect of the euro on employment, growth, investment and stability.

But many British firms are already complaining of the harmful impact of the UK's notorious indecision over whether to join the single currency.

Can Mr Brown's economic tests really safeguard the UK economy against the potential pitfalls of entering the euro?

Or is the time spent sitting on the fence doing more harm than good?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.



We should have an honest debate about this

Peter Hearty, UK
The so-called five economic tests are a sham. They do not contain a single quantitative test and as such can be passed or failed as the political will requires. I'm pro-euro, but I think we should have an honest debate about this. The decision is a political one, not an economic one. It's whether we want to integrate closer with Europe or not which lies at the heart of the decision.
Peter Hearty, UK

The main problem in the United Kingdom is that the majority of people do not know what the euro would mean to us and the country. Yes it has disadvantages but it also has advantages. I agree that Number 10 and 11 are dithering but they are not doing enough to support their cause.
Lee, England

The problem isn't just economic, it's also political. Mr Brown's "tests" are a front; Mr Blair will have his way regardless.
Phil, England


Join the euro

Scott Whitelaw, Canada
As a dual Canadian-British citizen who looks at things from a very "North American" perspective, I say join the euro. Fence-sitting is unproductive - choose a side quickly and move on with it.
Scott Whitelaw, Canada

I think that the UK should adopt the euro. I was recently on a school trip to Germany. We had to travel through 4 different countries but instead of having 4 currencies, we only had to use one.
Sarah, Scotland

I would guess that the majority of us have little knowledge of the economic and other decisions involved in entry to the single currency. Even business seems to have those against and those for. So surely it is up to the elected government to get on with their job and not ask us to do it for them.
Alan Watts, England

Was in Dublin two weekends ago. Here is a country that has adopted the euro, remains proud of its heritage, certainly does not appear 'subjugated' by Brussels and indeed looks rather modern and grown up compared to tired old 'Little England' and 'our heritage rests with our Pound' brigade.
Gerry, Scotland


They need us more than we need them.

Rebecca, England
Sitting on the fence is perfectly fine. Since Brown himself states this is a major decision, then we should take our time doing it. Let's wait at least five years and see if the thing suits us then. By the time that happens we'll have seen the impact of the old Eastern Bloc countries having joined and what changes the EU has proposed to make themselves more accountable to the electorate of its members. Face it, they need us more than we need them and as the fourth largest economy in the world we've got a large bargaining chip. Of course big business wants us to join because they want to line their pockets with all the profit they can make. But this is a decision of the people for the future of this country; an emotional and constitutional one that should not be suborned to whatever suits the corporations.
Rebecca, England

Those who would force the Euro upon us now rather than wait any longer are those who believe that a disastrous decision is better than no decision. Brown is absolutely right to stick to his guns on this issue, as the disenchantment of other nations which rushed to adopt the Euro proves.
Chris B, England

Test or no tests, the longer we stay out the worse it will be for UK based companies and on an individual basis the ongoing rip-off by banks as and when we have to buy Euros to travel. Why are the anti-Euro lobby so arrogant? They imply that all the nations who have entered the Euro are barking mad and that we should align with the US Dollar. What a joke - how confident could we be now that the criminality of big business in the USA is starting to be exposed! Let's have the Euro now.
Phil Wade, UK


We'll be increasingly isolated if we stay out

Smid, England
Its more than just sitting on the fence. Britain made the wrong decision on Black Wednesday all those years ago and didn't recover. The economic tests don't make a lot of difference, we'll be increasingly isolated if we stay out and its no economic benefit to be outside. We are not the Swiss. As for the being able to control interest rates, well it hasn't done much to control the excessive housing market so far, so can't be much of a complaint.
Smid, England

A very clear majority of the people of Britain reject the notion of the single currency and would express that view if given the chance to express it in a referendum. Responsibility for any dithering can therefore be placed confidently on the doormat of Number 10 Downing Street in refusing that referendum. It makes me very angry to hear this deeply felt conviction of the population rejected as isolationist or xenophobic. Our country has stood very clearly for the principles of freedom and self determination for a long time and is manifestly one of the least racist countries in Europe.
John Adlington, UK

The great majority of people in the U.K. are not sitting on the fence, entry will not be decided by economic factors, but by the will of the people.
Graham, U.K.

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27 Jun 02 | Business
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