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Page last updated at 09:07 GMT, Tuesday, 20 September 2011 10:07 UK

Clegg: Doubtful UK will join Euro in my political lifetime


has said that it is "highly doubtful" that the United Kingdom would join the Euro in his political lifetime.

Interviewed by Today presenter Justin Webb, Mr Clegg said: "I doubt very, very much that, during my political lifetime, certainly as leader of the Liberal Democrats, that we will see the UK enter into the euro."

And he added: "My own view remains that if the disciplines - and they were strict fiscal disciplines - on which the euro was originally launched had been respected and adhered to, the euro would not now be in the trouble that it was."

The deputy prime minister also defended the government's policy of deficit reduction, saying that the coalition came to power when the UK's debt was worse than Italy's, Portugal's, and Spain's.

Mr Clegg said it would have been crazy to play Russian roulette with the economy.

"You've seen what happens to countries which have lower deficits than us and are now being forced over the precipice by the markets. What more evidence do you need that it is not good for millions of ordinary working people to see interest rates rocket up, unemployment rocket up and governments absolutely helpless to do anything... about it."

But Mr Clegg admitted that deficit reduction alone was not the answer, saying: "I don't think deficit reduction in and of itself is the sort of magic recipe for growth. It is a necessary but not sufficient condition to be able to then do things which create growth.

"All you're doing, and all I think we've done over the last year and a half on deficit reduction, is pull the country back from the brink and make sure that we have the space and the time to do the other things which help promote growth."

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