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Last Updated: Monday, 9 June 2003, 18:50 GMT 19:50 UK
Euro reaction: Key quotes
Chancellor Gordon Brown's verdict on British entry to the euro has provoked a welter of reaction. Here is what some of the key campaigners on each side have said:


George Eustice, Director of the No Campaign:

"This is the right decision for Britain - the time is not right to join.

"The euro isn't working for those countries already inside the currency, with Germany on the brink of recession, unemployment rising and eurozone growth half the level in Britain."

Lord Marshall, chairman of the pro-euro Britain in Europe:

"We welcome the government's positive assessment of the benefits of a future for Britain within the euro and are encouraged by its commitment to remove remaining obstacles.

"It is very helpful to know that these issues will be reviewed in next year's Budget. The euro game is clearly on."

Peter Mandelson, pro-euro former cabinet minister:

"The great euro verdict has come - and in my view it takes us further in the direction of entering ...

"There is a credible timetable in place, with remaining economic obstacles and reforms to be worked on in the coming year. It is now up to the government to deliver these changes.

"This does not produce the certainty but the distinct possibility of a referendum during this Parliament."

Ian Davidson, chairman of Labour Against The Euro:

"I support the government decision not to join the euro at the moment.

"It is clear that joining would be bad for jobs and public services, so this is a victory for common sense over dogma."

Chris Bryant, chairman of the Labour Movement for Europe

"I am delighted. This effectively signals the start of a Government 'yes' campaign.

"The prime minister, chancellor and the cabinet have clearly decided that it is in Britain's long-term economic and political interests to join the euro - and they are now determined to do everything in their power to clear any obstacles to our joining."

Neil Kinnock, pro-euro European commissioner and former Labour leader:

"Congratulations to Gordon on a very strong policy which is economically practical and sensible, showing strong political leadership."

Shadow chancellor Michael Howard:

"Blair goes one way, Brown goes the other way and bang goes the third way."

David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce:

"We welcome the basic conclusion that the UK is not yet ready to join the euro.

"This confirms the views expressed by our members in our recent survey. Our view is 'not no, but not now' and we are glad that the government shares our analysis."

Simon Wolfson, chief executive of Next:

"The tests are not met now and will not be met in a year or two's time. Business wants certainty so that it can plan ahead with confidence.

"What it does not want is continued speculation over whether the government intends to take risks with the British economy in order to pursue its political ambitions."

Matthew Taylor, pro-euro Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman:

"For six years, support in principle from the chancellor has been talk and no trousers."

Dave Prentis, general secretary of public sector union Unison:

"There is no doubt in my mind that the government have made a wise decision.

"To join the euro now would be a step into the unknown and would seriously jeopardise the ongoing massive investment programme in our public services."

Nigel Farage, UK Independence Party MEP:

"This was 1,700 pages of mass confusion designed to put a whole series of spurious economic points while missing the simple argument about the euro.

"That is, should we continue to run our economic affairs or be managed by people in Brussels?"

Ian Taylor MP, chairman of the pro-euro Conservative Europe Network:

"I welcome the government's emphasis on action to ensure that the tests can be met in future, although I am disappointed that the Treasury considers that its tests have not been met so far.

"I also welcome the government's decision to play a full part in the campaign to join the euro in advance of the referendum itself. This shows that the government will now lead the 'Yes' campaign from the front."

Mark Leonard, director of the Foreign Policy Centre:

"It's encouraging that the government have set out a roadmap for joining the euro and are no longer treating the issue as something out of their control.

"Eurozone countries, business and pro-Europeans will be watching to see if they really do make the economic changes necessary to turn around public opinion.

"If they don't, it will be a serious blow to Britain's interests and a fatal blow to the credibility of their European policy."

Conservative MP Sir Peter Tapsell, who voted against joining the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) in 1990.

"Is it really necessary for Mr Brown to ask the British people, even in principle, to slash their throats a second time?"

Stuart Coster, campaign manager of the anti-euro Democracy Movement:

"The real test that's been failed is the political one - that the British people remain resolutely two to one against euro membership...

"Public opinion will not shift while people see the eurozone in economic difficulty. The time can never be right to give up flexible democratic control of the economy."

Sir Richard Branson, chairman, Virgin Group

"Having a separate currency from the consumers and competitors of our largest market is a big barrier to success.

"After today I feel we are getting closer to having that barrier removed and that is clearly good news for both British businesses and for the British people."




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