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Economic And Monetary Union

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 24 September 1997

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the legislation which would need to be enacted prior to the United Kingdom joining a single currency. [15338]

The European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993 requires an Act of Parliament before the UK would be able to move to the third stage of economic and monetary union. In addition, as confirmed in the Chancellor's statement on 27 October 1997, Official Report, columns 583–88, whenever a decision to enter is taken by the Government, it should be put to a referendum of the British people, and this would require legislation. Separately, the Bank of England would need to be compatible with the terms of the Treaty which apply if we were to join and there would be changes needed to related UK legislation.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer from what decisions relating to the European Single Currency—other than those determined in treaties or protocols concerning the operation of the European Monetary Institute, the European System of Central Banks or the statutes and duties of the European central banks— member states unable or unwilling to participate in the single currency, or the representatives of their respective central banks, will be excluded. [15436]

All decisions relating the European Central Bank (ECB) will be taken pursuant to the Treaty establishing the European Community, including its various Protocols, in particular Nos. 3, 4, 8 and 11, which collectively lay down the rights and obligations of participating and non-participating member states and their National Central Banks.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representation he has made concerning the formation of a working group of first-round EMU participants distinct from the ECOFIN group. [16987]

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy on the proposal of the French Government for a Conseil de 1'Euro. [17002]

[holding answer 19 November 1997]: The UK is in agreement with all other Member States that the ECOFIN Council will remain the decision-making body for economic and financial issues after the start of stage three of EMU, as it is now.