Last year you published an article in which I rebutted Lord Marshall’s praise for the euro. Now I see that Nick Boucher, group planning director at Glynwed International, is at it. I should say that, like Mr Boucher, my experience has been in the management of multinational companies.
Mr Boucher speaks of price transparency and lower priced products, but these are already becoming available through the internet, as the recent Business for Sterling paper argues. The euro is a 20th century solution to a 21st century problem – and a problem which is being solved without the euro anyway.
He speaks of `strong sterling’ and `recent fluctuations’. But sterling, compared to the world’s reference currency, the US dollar, has been remarkably stable. It is the euro that is weak and volatile.
It is not true that euroland accounts for `over half the UK’s exports’. Three-quarters of our global investments are outside euroland and are predominantly in dollars, while over 80% of our non-sterling international trade is in dollars. The dollar is much more important for the UK than the euro. Joining the euro would cause more currency volatility in global terms, not less. And loss of control over our monetary policy would lead to demand cycle volatility – boom and bust.
Investment does not depend on euro membership, as the latest UK inward investment figures show. Britain is a global trading nation, with a much higher proportion of trade and investment outside the EU – one reason why `convergence’ is inconceivable. The last thing we need now is to tie the UK closer to the most over-regulated, over-governed, over-taxed and over-borrowed bloc in the world.
Mr Boucher speaks of `influencing regulation’. I invite him to spend an afternoon on one of the committees of the European Parliament, and see how much influence he thinks we have then.
Roger Helmer MEP, Conservative Party, East Midlands
Copyright: Centaur Communications Ltd. and licensors