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European Currency

Volume 175: debated on Thursday 5 July 1990

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his proposals for a European currency unit.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor gave my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley) on 21 June.

By proposing the hard ecu, is not my right hon. Friend the Chancellor offering the best of both worlds in that we should retain control over our national currency and monetary policy while at the same time adopting a common European currency for use when appropriate? As we actively prepare for 1992, the removal of trade barriers to our European partners, and easier travel throughout Europe, is not that the most logical and flexible approach that we can take at this stage?

My hon. Friend puts the advantages clearly and well. A common currency would be valuable to people travelling, working and trading in Europe. The whole of Europe can unite around our proposals. They are not divisive or exclusive, as are some other projects before the Community.