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Will Britain Ever Join the Euro?

 


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The Euro is a recent project in the history of currencies. The new currency was introduced more than five years ago. One way of examining a possible success of the euro is to see whether other countries would follow and also convert their currency to the euro. A better way to check this would be to focus on Britain. If they would join the euro, one could call the euro a real success. So the question is: will Britain ever join the Euro?

Some statements found on the internet in 2003, besides some positive thoughts “serious doubts" are abundantly available (1):

Doesn't anyone else remember how much prices rose in 1971 after decimalization. The only people not to lose out if we joined the euro would be the fat cats in business. If this, or any other British Government, allows a referendum on joining the euro and receives a NO, they will continue holding referenda until they receive a YES. . .

Whether the government likes it or not this is a democratic country and we should have a referendum. If the people choose no then it's tough luck and they should abide by it, whether the people of the UK are “informed" or not.

Personally I think that joining the Euro would be the worst thing possible. We would be handing over most of our financial decisions to Germany, and seeing what problems they have at the moment it would make matters worse in the UK not better.

From another source in the same year - 2003 (2):

. . The Telegraph wrote, “The euro is another example of how the dogmatic approach preferred by so many European politicians is the wrong course to take. . .
. . . and a comment:
NO Under any circumstances . European union is an economic and political experiment dreamed up by eurocrats in their ivory towers . . . Not for Britain we value our independence too highly . . . The EU is a spineless organisation that pretends to be a world power to rival the USA but when the chips are down shrivel away from their global responsibilities. . . . Say No UK and don't shrink from your responsibility for our future generations sake.

Interesting about this post is the idea of a crisis. There hasn't been any real crisis yet, but this may change. Inflation differences in the member states become visible. Struggling through a crisis could give us insight on the long-term success of the euro.

Somewhere in 2008 (3):

"My answer is pretty simple. One cannot conceive of a way that the Euro would help us. The arguments used ten years ago by the pro Euro campaign - more jobs, lower prices, increased trade - have been proven to be false. "

And another comment:
Never say never - except in the case of joining the euro. . . To say “yes" is akin to consenting to become an additional German “Land", which is very much not in the national interest.

Perhaps the success of the Single European currency cannot be measured by new decisions of member states to join the currency. Perhaps the success of the euro is enough in evidence that the currency is stable and used as a second reserve (haven) against the US dollar.
Perhaps there will always be a country like Britain that will not join, and why should we care.

Recently I spoke with someone in Spain, his business was tourism and he was glad that - in these difficult times - he could make some extra money in exchanging pounds for euros. There is a cost to exchange currencies, but it is also a source of business for many people in this world too.

After five years, many Spaniards still think and calculate in their old currency, the peseta. “I bought this house for 5 million and have sold it six years later for 50 million. . . " It was not a villa this man was talking about, but the price of the normal house but its value expressed in the old peseta.

Much of the stories also on the success of the euro, is most of all journalism. There is little history about the euro. We would have to wait at least five more years to really understand what the impact has been.
Perhaps we than know whether Britain has joined or not and most of all. . . Why.

H. J. B.

(1) - http://news. bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/2968540. stm
(2) - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/global/main. jhtml?xml=/global/2003/05/12/hairaq101. xml
(3) - the spectator - should-britain-join-the-euro?

© Hans Bool

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