Dr Julian Lewis: Those of us who opposed the creation of the single currency when John Major's Government were sitting on the fence view with horror the prospect that its failure may now lead to the economic unification and economic government of Europe. Will the Minister reassure us that Britain would not countenance supporting such a mad and undemocratic idea?

[The Minister for Europe (Mr David Lidington): Part of the critique that both my hon. Friend and I have consistently made of the single currency is that, in the absence of closer fiscal and economic union, a single monetary policy and interest rate would not be sustainable. However, it is the sovereign right of other European countries to choose whether to pursue closer integration now, and it would be disastrous for the UK were the eurozone to suffer a financial collapse or prolonged recession.]