The UK will lose out in the e-commerce revolution if it joins the single European currency, according to a report for the Conservative party.
Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference, Sir John Nott, chairman of the Britain and the pound report, claimed the UK should remain free from currency block ties.
`The internet and the revolution in e-commerce are making trading and currency blocks redundant,’ he said. `To survive in this new global world the UK must remain independent, flexible, liberalised and adaptable – all things that the present European Union is not.’
The report, recently presented to William Hague, argued Britain should be looking to work more closely with the US, rather than with European countries:
`The US is “cool, dynamic and modern”. By comparison much of the continent of Europe looks old-fashioned, ageing, sluggish and sclerotic,’ said Nott.
However, the CBI disputed these claims, and said there was no reason for the two to prove incompatible, or for e-commerce to be affected by the Euro.
A spokesperson for the Treasury also questioned Nott’s comments, and said the Chancellor, Gordon Brown would have to be satisfied the Euro would not be harmful to the economy before the UK joined.
He added that it was not the government’s policy to take steps which would be damaging to business.