New Forest East

EUROPE – EMU – 13 January 2009

Dr Julian Lewis: Just over a month ago, the President of the European Commission stated that the people who matter in Britain are increasingly in favour of our joining the single currency. Is there anything that one of the Foreign Office Ministers here can say to reassure the 71 percent of the British people who were reported in a BBC-ICM poll as being against our joining the single European currency that none of the people who matter in Britain is a member of the Labour Cabinet?

[The Minister for Europe (Caroline Flint): As I made clear on 1 January on the “The World at One” when that poll was put to me, I totally agree with the people who said that they did not think that entering the euro was a priority for Britain at the present time. That view is shared by this Government, but it is also shared by businesses and others. We need to focus on the need to tackle this global economic challenge. That is why I am pleased to say that we have unity in the 27 member states in Europe. Our German colleagues have just announced a huge fiscal spending package, which I am afraid leaves those on the Opposition Benches lost for answers as to what they would do as we endeavour to ensure that we meet the challenge that families and businesses are facing in Britain today.]