FOREIGN AFFAIRS – SINGLE CURRENCY – 10 September 2012

Dr Julian Lewis: Argument by analogy is never terribly wise, but when the analogy is between a single currency across different countries with different economies and a single currency such as the pound that applies within a single country with a single economy, that analogy is not only false, but completely risible.

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Dr Lewis: Is not the real choice that is going to have to be faced that the euro will be dismantled in an orderly way, or will collapse in a disorderly way? Is not the danger that we feel that we cannot be seen to be sabotaging this project, in which so many of our colleagues in the European Union have invested so much energy and treasure, and yet, by not speaking the truth about the matter, we are making more likely a disorderly collapse, rather than orderly dismantling?

[The First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means (Mr Nigel Evans): The hon. Gentleman will answer that intervention through the prism of amendment 1, please.

Kelvin Hopkins: Of course, Mr Evans. Amendment 1 is essentially about delaying our approval of this measure until such time as the eurozone countries have agreed, signed and sealed it. That is a very sensible way forward. The hon. Gentleman is right, and I and others have made the point a number of times that there are examples of single currencies that have been dissolved in an orderly and managed way. When the Soviet Union was dissolved, the first thing its countries did, wisely, was to create their own currencies. Such countries were able to choose an appropriate parity and interest rate, and to do what was necessary to make their own economies work well in relation to others. That is obviously the way forward, and in the journals it is increasingly being said that the dismantling of the euro, which would enable countries to reflate their economies, would be far less painful than what is happening now in some of the eurozone's weaker countries, which is dreadful for working people. There is mass unemployment and falling living standards, and growth in Greece has fallen by upwards of 20%. They really are in serious pain and difficulty, and it could not be worse if they re-created the drachma, devalued and started selling cheap holidays to British people who want to enjoy the sunshine of Greece. That is their way forward, and the same is true for other countries.]