This week, after a consultation exercise and a membership survey, the CBI stood by its position that membership of the euro would bring numerous benefits for the UK, given the right economic conditions: notably progress towards sound fiscal conditions, a flexible labour market in eurozone economies and a 10% fall in the sterling exchange rate. It declined to set a date for entry.
This led to the spectacle of the CBI endorsing a position almost identical to Government policy, on the same day as Chancellor Gordon Brown attempted to play down earlier Labour suggestions that there would be a euro referendum early in the next Parliament if it wins the next election.
The CBI is to be commended for standing firm, while the Government seems content to allow the Eurosceptic tide to gain momentum. As the CBI points out: `EMU membership would reinforce the UK government’s ability to play a leading role in Europe’. If the Government wants such a role, some determined leadership at home is long overdue.