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Euro Preparations Unit

Volume 543: debated on Tuesday 24 April 2012

My hon. Friend asks whether we plan to re-establish the euro preparations unit in the Treasury, and the answer is no we do not.

I am delighted that we, unlike the Labour party, are committed not to join that foreign currency, which is failing at the present time. No doubt my right hon. Friend, before he became Chancellor, calculated the cost of the unit. How many police, doctors or nurses could we employ for the money that was wasted?

I only have the figures for the Treasury, but of course other Departments were also embarked on that Labour scheme. The Treasury spent £5 million on the civil servants required for the euro preparations unit, and that for example would pay for 17 nurses and five consultants. I guess, given that the Labour leader is committed to joining the euro, the unit would be re-established.

The Chancellor will have seen that the euro fell significantly deeper into crisis yesterday. Is the Treasury making contingency plans for the abandonment of the euro and the creation of national currencies?

As I have said previously in the House, the Treasury does make contingency plans for whatever the world economy and, indeed, the European economy throw at it, but I will not spell them out in detail.