Re: Pounds to Euros?
Posted by: Simon
Date: May 15, 2003 06:40PM
I am against the potential switch to Euros, for several reasons.
My main reason for holding this view is that the right to issue a distinct currency of one's own is a key element of national sovreignty: Giving this up would be a major step towards Britain's absorption into a "United States of Europe" which is a possibility that I would REALLY HATE!!!... This view isn't just due to deep-rooted patriotism, either, although that is one of the factors involved: The shared "political cultures" & common traditions of most of the other countries that would be involved differ in many ways from the British traditions, and as we'd be outvoted it would almost certainly be our ways (to which I am accustomed, and which I consider generally superior in most ways [at least in a Bristish context] to their continental alternatives) that lost out. The general standards of "honesty" & "openness" in the politics of several of those nations (such as, for example: France, Italy, Belgium, Greece...) make the various "sleaze" scandals that have dogged British politics over the last fifteen years or so look relatively minor! Did you know that it's been several (more than four, although I forget by how many...) years since the European Commission last managed to get a set of its annual accounts accepted as adequate by the auditors? If they were a company doing business under British law then they'd have been closed down by the law-courts several years ago...
As the European legislation now stands it would be an irrevocable decision: No matter how badly the Euro system went wrong, there'd be no legal way of changing back from the Euro to a national currency. This not only seems a bad idea to me on practical grounds but is against the British tradition of legislation, which holds that the elected government should always be able to repeal any of its predeccessors' laws.
There's also (at a more pragmatic level) the important fact that accepting the Euro automatically means accepting the European Central Bank's right to set interest rates at a single, standardised level which applies right across the "Eurozone", and the high probability that this level would be inappropriate to current consitions in Britain for most of the time. Several of the countries that have already signed up for the Euro have already had problems because of this factor (Ireland in the early days, Germany now, for example...), and the underlying differences between Britain's economic system and the continental ones make problems seem even more likely in our case...
If the level of the pound currently makes holidays abroad more expensive, so what? Presumably the situation will shift again, sooner or later... The number of pounds that are spent WITHIN Britain must be many times the number that are changed into foreign currencies for use in holidays abroad, so isn't that a rather petty reason for wanting the change.
Post Edited (05-15-03 19:50)