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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Should Britain join the euro?
Tony Blair has said that a referendum on the euro could be held before the next general election.

The prime minister made his comments at a joint press conference with Chancellor Gordon Brown at Downing Street.

The event came the day after Mr Brown told the Commons that the government felt the time was not right for the UK to join the euro.

It is seen as the start of a campaign to bolster support for the UK's role in Europe.

What did you think of the prime minister and chancellor's comments? Is it time that Britain joined the single currency? Should there be a referendum on the issue?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

The euro as a common European currency is an inevitable necessity
Adam Bieniek, Poland
Whether you like it or not, the euro as a common European currency is an inevitable necessity. You can hear numerous opinions in Poland in opposition to such a solution, but even the opponents realise that there is no other way - 'staying across a border' means staying out of the mainstream of the European economy.
Adam Bieniek, Poland

Whether people like it or not this is a democratic country and we have a democratically elected government. Let them get on with the job - if it is the will of the government and of parliament as the elected corpus of the people that we join the Euro, let them get on with it, and the sooner the better.
Colin Duncan, Northern Ireland

No, no, no is the answer by the silent majority of British people. The loss of fiscal control is the surrender of our sovereignty to Frankfurt and Brussels.
Stefan Ochalek, England

I think the invitation to join should be withdrawn if Britain doesn't join soon
Gerda, UK
Britain wants to have its cake and eat it, as usual! The other countries have taken the risks with the introduction of the Euro, but this country wants to 'wait and see'. Well, I think the invitation to join should be withdrawn if Britain doesn't join soon. You can't just have the advantages without sharing the risks, too!
Gerda, UK

Personally I think that joining the Euro would be the worst thing possible. We would be handing over most of our financial decisions to Germany, and seeing what problems they have at the moment it would make matters worse in the UK not better.
Adrian Hilton, England

The Pound... is just a token
Peter S, England
Its said we will lose our history if we give up the Pound. The Pound was created in 1692 it only lasted 8 years until 1700 it disappeared for over 200 hundred years to re-appear first as a paper note then as a coin. It is just a token. Join the European community as a full active member be at the head of things instead of the tail end where all the rubbish is.
Peter S, England

The argument of " I don't have to change currencies when I move to a new country" is such a small, selfish, micro-economic opinion as to be totally irrelevant to the actual pro's and con's of joining the EMU. If you want evidence of how a powerful economy fares in the EU just look at Germany, high unemployment, high inflation and it's government is impotent to do anything about it. Joining the EMU would just mean that the UK economy, the 4th largest in the world, would be supporting the poorer countries of the EU just as if we were handing out foreign aid.
Nick Williams, BSc. Econ, UK

Doesn't anyone else remember how much prices rose in 1971 after decimalisation. The only people not to lose out if we joined the euro would be the fat cats in business. If this, or any other British Government, allows a referendum on joining the euro and receives a NO, they will continue holding referenda until they receive a YES. Blair only wants a yes so Europe will make him their first elected president!
John, UK

Much better to keep our options open
Andrew, UK
I used to be solidly in support of joining the euro. However, if Mr Blair thinks it's the right thing to do, it must be dodgy. Much better to keep our options open and hope the Labour Party finds a leader with a bit of judgement and sincerity.
Andrew, UK

Whether the government likes it or not this is a democratic country and we should have a referendum. If the people choose no then it's tough luck and they should abide by it, whether the people of the UK are "informed" or not.
Craig Mills, UK

As an ex-pat living in Holland, I am amazed that the British are even toying with the idea of joining the euro. Look at Holland. Apart from the enormous cost of changing the currency and teaching the people what it was all about, it has caused an inflation of around 48% (caused mainly by a greedy private sector for whom there were no checks or controls) over the last 18 months according to the consumer watchdog.
Michael Armfield, Holland

The long-term benefits outweigh the risks
Nick Johnson, UK
Although the EU is not perfect membership has brought many benefits to the UK. The three pillars of the EU are freedom of movement of people, goods and capital - the logical extension of this is a single currency. If the end result is a continent where all citizens are able to enjoy a good standard of living and live in harmony without the threat of war then surely this is a goal worth working for. There are benefits as well as risks in joining the euro but I believe the long-term benefits outweigh the risks.
Nick Johnson, UK

For those who want to be part of the euro, why don't they leave and live in a country that has the euro and leave us true Brits to run ourselves rather than from an unelected 'organisation'.
Robert Daniell, England

There seems to be a frequent sentiment that we should reject Europe and go with the US, on the grounds that we have something culturally in common with the Americans. In fact, on every opinion survey, on subjects from the Iraq war to the provision of health care, British opinion is nearly always in line with European opinion and often wildly different to American. We are Europeans and should recognise that fact. It is only language which is a barrier to understanding, not culture. Our future is with the EU.
John, UK

I believe it should be left up to the financial and economic brains to make the decision
Neil, UK
Having travelled and worked in Europe, I'm for it, I think it is the way forward. Trade wise it would make sense too. By not joining we are alienating ourselves from our closest neighbours, but I'm not convinced that a referendum is the way to go. The vast majority of us who vote, will not possess enough knowledge on the subject. I believe it should be left up to the financial and economic brains to make the decision - not the politicians.
Neil, UK

Blair might well have the time to talk to Chirac about his position on the euro, it's just a shame that he can't be bothered to enter into discussion with the British people on this.....but then he already knows what we think!
David Price, UK

I live with the euro everyday and I find it extremely successful. I can travel to almost every EU country and not have to bother with changing money. The argument about inflation and the poor performance of the economies of the EU doesn't wash. The downturn would have happened whether or not the euro was introduced.
Mitchell, The Netherlands

If you vote for monetary union then by default you vote for full political union
John Lynch, Chester, England
People should understand clearly that monetary union is just the next step towards full political union. If you vote for monetary union then by default you vote for full political union, as one WILL follow the other. It's just another step along that path.
John Lynch, Chester, England

Whether you're for or against the euro, the most disturbing thing is that to some degree at least the future of the UK economy is based on an apparent power struggle between just two people. Surely what's important is how it affects the remaining 59 million people in the UK.
Richard Thorpe, UK

It makes long-term economic sense to join the eurozone and enlarge our capacity to trade within it, particularly in light of the often "maverick" actions of the US in relation to how it chooses to trade with the rest of the world. There is however a huge degree of cynicism in this country around the general benefits of EU membership. We need to take the politics out of the debate and have the facts laid clearly before us. A positive move would also be to get the right balance between centrist and regional (UK) control of key decisions.
Lee Creamer, England

I think it is quite sad that a lot of people in the UK have such a short-term view of the future of their country. Joining the euro is a positive step towards a strong UK in a strong Europe of 25. Yes there will be some teething problems, as with any innovation. However, politicians should have the courage to make the case for Europe and the EU.
Karel, Belgium

I think we need to wait. There are a lot of smaller/poorer countries joining the EU and perhaps the single currency and it is yet to be seen whether this will have a negative effect on the euro and the countries using it.
Oliver, London, UK

We must not dither and delay
Alexander Davies, London, UK
I will believe Mr Brown's commitment to breaking with reticence on this issue when I see him really vigorously making the pro-euro case. It is in our long-term economic interests to join. We must not dither and delay as we did to our considerable detriment over joining the Community in the first place, when it was set up in 1957. We must have a referendum soon.
Alexander Davies, London, UK

We should certainly join the euro, but only when the economic conditions for us and the eurozone are right. It would benefit nobody if our joining were to destabilise the whole currency!
Michael Hogan, UK

Gordon Brown is being realistic. If the government had a referendum tomorrow, they would lose, and they know it. The financial situation is irrelevant, this is a gut reaction from the British people.
Colin Sorahan, Great Britain

Let's have some assurances from the government
Emma Street, England
I do not believe that the citizens of the UK are informed enough to decide on this issue. A lot of people are simply too incensed about losing their national identity to think clearly about the implications if we DON'T join. Let's have some assurances from the government and some clarification of exactly what's involved to allow us to make a proper choice - and by "us" I mean the people of the UK, not the government!
Emma Street, England

Politics is key to this decision. Mr Blair has found himself running out of time to deliver the UK to Europe. In return for delivering the UK to Europe, he is, I'm sure, promised the position of President of Europe. However, Mr Brown sees the opportunity of delaying this process and being the one himself (as PM) who disposes of the pound next term. This whole debate is simply about egos and careers.
Jason Barrass, England

The debate amongst the politicians shows a contempt for the population of this country. Mr Blair's views on "What's right for the UK" can be read as "What's right for Tony Blair". After six years of spin, the general population no longer has any confidence in what the politicians say.
Richard Todd, UK

You are either in or out
Laurent, France
To be bluntly frank, many "continental" Europeans are either indifferent to, or fed up with the UK attitude towards the euro and the EU in general. Member countries of the eurozone have taken huge risks to make together a strong currency. If the UK does not want to join, it is a democratic choice that should be respected. On the other hand, I think a deadline should be set for you to join. And this deadline should actually be set by the eurozone leaders. You are either in or out and if you go for the out option, goodbye!
Laurent, France

All this talk of the single currency, and harmonisation begs one further question. Why is there no talk of a single language? This would make it even easier for trade etc? The obvious choice would be English - but I can't see the French or Germans allowing that!
John Mills, UK

Let the people decide! Politicians are too incompetent and too selfish on their own when it concerns important questions.
Jan Andersson "Sir Galahad", Sweden

Give the British public the facts
Tom Young, UK
The Government seem to be overlooking the most important element in the decision making process, the people. There has been no attempt to establish an independent cross party, 'cross opinion', impartial process of education. Consequently we hear only trite over rehearsed, meaningless rhetoric and political point scoring. Give the British public the facts and let them decide on the facts, not on who can shout the loudest.
Tom Young, UK

You can join the Eeurozone or you should leave the EU! You can't only have the best of everything.
Ralf, Germany

Adopt the euro - it's that simple. As a resident in the only part of the UK that has a land border with another EU country the benefits are clear. Most traders and shops already accept the euro and many of our ATMs dispense euros, so why not make it official, or at least use Northern Ireland as a pilot study? It would be nice for us to be known for contributing something more positive to the UK.
Gareth, Northern Ireland

Let's get rid of the name euro and call it europound
Michael, UK
I propose something else to end this debate. Let's get rid of the name euro and call it europound. Everybody will be happy then..The Europeans will have a common currency and the English will be reminded of their imperial past.
Michael, UK

When it comes to matters concerning our future and prosperity, we are the least informed nation in Europe. The government does not make readily available the facts and figures without trying to gloss it all up. For once in your lives, tell us the truth, in plain English.
Mick Mac, England

Some people seem to genuinely believe that we should join the euro simply to avoid the hassle of changing money when we go on holiday. What is the problem? When abroad you go to cash machine, remove card from wallet, enter PIN, enter amount, and hey presto euros.
Nick, UK

The chancellor has failed yet again to give leadership on this issue. He should set a date now for a referendum and let the people decide. We deserve better than this from our government.
Alan, UK

The euro is a wonderful idea and it is sad we are not part of it!
Robert, UK
Why is the pound a symbol for the UK? Why does it make us British? A coin and a banknote is nothing more than a credit note. Merging our currency would be good for trade, also when one goes on holiday/business one does not have to pay exchange rates. The euro is a wonderful idea and it is sad we are not part of it!
Robert, UK

As a Briton living abroad I see no advantages in joining the euro. One big disadvantage would be loss of control over one facet of the British economy, interest rates. Look at how Germany is struggling for one thing because the European Central Bank controls its interest rates. I also don't agree that most Scots and Welsh would vote yes in a referendum. I am Scots and know very many people who hate the idea of the euro, including many prominent businessmen. Let us have a referendum, not only on the euro but on this disaster the French are cobbling together called the European Constitution.
Stuart Paton, Azerbaijan

Are the English really so insecure in their identity and heritage, that losing the pound would make them even less of a nation? Maybe the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish can adopt the euro and leave the English to wallow in self pity and cultivate the "whingeing-Pom" attitude, to which the rest of the world has become accustomed.
Craig, Scotland

At least the UK is having a proper debate on this subject, which is far more than those on the continent have done. Such public discourse might have proven beneficial to Germany and France. Attempting "convergence by participation" and foolishly converting an economic decision into a political one is no way to form exchange rate or monetary policy.
Chris, US

I think that the chancellor is entirely right to force through the economic view of the euro.
Jonathan Timmis, UK

Don't ever agree to this UK
Ken, Cork, Ireland
To be honest do not join the euro. Look to Ireland as an example. Prices rocketed, everything is more expensive and getting more expensive day by day. We are practically the most expensive country in Europe right now. When the changeover occurred companies took advantage of people trying to deal with the new currency and whacked up all of their prices. Don't ever agree to this UK.
Ken, Cork, Ireland

Why not just have a referendum on the euro and be done with all this silly argument?
Graham, England

There are 2 options. Adopt the dollar and apply to be the 51st state or take the euro and join with others who live similar lives and think in similar ways. Do what is best for Britain, and remember which side of the Atlantic we are really on!
Bob Ramsay, A Geordie in Switzerland

People keep saying that adopting the Euro will undermine British sovereignty and destroy what it means to be British, but two-thirds of new legislation comes from Brussels already anyway. I don't feel any less British for that. What makes us British is being born in the UK and speaking the Queen's English, not the origin of our money. Economically speaking I think the Euro is a great idea. When we join though, we should not accept things as they are, but rather play an active role in making the Euro a strong alternative to the dollar. If people don't like the USA's world domination plans then a strong, united Europe is the way to stop them.
Terry Stebbens, UK

The euro is the last nail in the coffin of sovereignty
Iskra, UK
No Parliament or living population has the right to give up sovereignty. Britain (or any nation) is more than the ad hoc desires of its businessmen or the personal ambitions of politicians. A region without a currency or reserves is not a nation. However if it is so important to trade what is wrong with pegging the Pound to the Euro as the Irish did their Pound to ours for so many years, or the odd little Scottish notes that still are. I have always supported the "Common Market" I do not support the Eurostate. The euro is the last nail in the coffin of sovereignty. Brown's decision is good for now, an eventual referendum should reject the euro out of hand.
Iskra, UK

People do not seem to be asking whether the Euro zone countries would want the UK to join. Certainly not at an exchange rate that will give UK business an unfair competitive advantage. Maybe the UK, when they finally do join, will find that the cost of prevarication is quite high. As far as the arguments concerning loss of control over the economy are concerned, they are frankly nonsense. Monetary and fiscal policy in the UK is made to benefit the London area; the needs of the North, Scotland and Wales are not taken much into consideration. Likewise, Euro policy is made to benefit the Euro heartland, the periphery has to adapt to what has been decided. Just as the periphery of the UK has to put up with London-based policy.
Peter Jones, Finland

On reading a tabloid newspaper brought back from the UK recently I was appalled to find six pages of adverts for loans, debt consolidation and re-mortgaging etc. I left UK 10 years ago and I see that during this time salaries have hardly changed. The UK is a society of debt. All the money belongs to banks and the poor old people of that sceptred isle are enslaved by the credit card. Young people leave school and there are no jobs, no future and no credit. Wake up and take a good long look at yourselves. The euro is your last chance. Get in or get out for good...
Ian, Ex-pat

If you opt for the euro and you'll surely find that prices rocket as has happened in many of those countries now using euros! Currency changes to the UK have always meant rounding up (remember the disappearance of the new halfpenny and decimalisation.) Trying to copy the economic success of the USA with a United States of Europe is bound to failure as there's no common culture. I was pro-euro but the last few years have produced higher growth in the UK economy under the control of the independent Bank of England than in Euroland. Stop dithering Labour. There are three of us not in the euro. Send out a clear message to business and UK consumers say thanks but no! Don't throw it all away, please.
Russell B, England

Before the euro, there were 4 currencies fighting it out for the 3 places on the world markets. The US Dollar and the Japanese Yen had assumed their places, due to their trading strengths and their geographic positions. The German DM and Sterling were left to wrestle for the remaining 'euro-zone' place. Now Sterling is in a much weaker position since the successful implementation of the euro and we cannot assume that Sterling will ever enjoy its previous strengths, and the UK people, its benefits ever again. As joining the euro appears to be more of a political decision than an economic one, maybe the choices should be join the euro, or adopt the US Dollar, because Sterling appears to have had its day. Let's see where our allegiances really lie.
Mark M, UK

Don't ever give up Sterling. It is very sad that a simple majority of Maltese citizens gave up our freedom to be ruled by Brussels. You should try to re-establish the Commonwealth as a group of independent sovereign nations who get together to compete with the EU and reject its diktat. All the European States are being sacrificed to try to prevent Germany from carrying out another war. The French think that they will run the EU with French diplomacy, but when the time comes, they will again fall prey to Germany together with the other Member States.
Pullu, Malta

We need to be part of a strong trading partnership in Europe for our own benefit instead of continually grovelling to the US with its selfish attitude to the rest of the globe. We have always been standing on the sidelines, carping and whinging. It's time to go in with both feet and play a totally committed role in Europe before the rest of them get fed up with us. As for the sentimentalists who simply want to keep the name - why can't each country simply keep its currency name on the note, say the eurofranc or europound and each be interchangeable in each others countries - hardly rocket science fellas!
Sue Wright, England

The French don't like us and we don't like them and the Germans laugh at us. Joining the Euro would be fatal. Gordon Brown has finally made a good decision.
James, UK

Any project which is fundamentally undemocratic, like the European Union is, and requires the screwing down of public spending to miniscule levels cannot be supported. I favour the use of a single currency but the fact that the European Central Bank is not accountable makes this currency highly undesirable.
Sean Hurl, Scotland

Opt for the euro, and we'll surely find success
Michael Shaw, United Kingdom
Ah! The eternal struggle between euro and Sterling...does anyone really care? Opt for the euro, and we'll surely find success. Choose the pound, and we'll be the uppity British.
Michael Shaw, United Kingdom

I'm certain this option has been explored, but I don't recall ever hearing a reason for not being considered, why not harmonise the pound and the euro?
Cameron Tilbury, Canada

I totally disagree with David, Cambridge, UK. I think that this decision is too important to be made by the people! If everyone is fully informed with all the facts then it would be OK, but too large a proportion of people would vote for or against based on emotional reasons. The decision must be made by those in the know, i.e. the government.
Dave, UK

As an Englishman working overseas I would like to see a referendum now - hopefully there will be a massive "NO" vote which will kill for the next ten years this stupid suggestion that England should adopt the euro.
Geoffrey Harman, UAE

People should be given the real facts about the benefits of EU participation
Clive Needle, UK
The balanced and positive elements of the Chancellor's statement are welcome. People should be given the real facts about the benefits of EU participation over the next year and move to a referendum as soon as possible. The next tests should include losses involved in staying out.
Clive Needle, UK

We have a choice between being allied to the US with no power to influence major decisions, or being an equal partner in Europe. Why don't we look at what we could get out of joining? We already have no real independence, let's not fool ourselves.
Nova Brockbank, UK

While it seems to be a good idea of one currency to rule them all, has it been really beneficial? Who are the big politicians and banks that set the policies? France certainly wants to be the driver's seat.
Russ B, USA

Yes, Absolutely. UK is a multicultural society and has to position itself in a global context, not defend anachronistic symbols. The advantage of being able to set a UK bank rate is not much compared to the economy growth UK can get from being at same level with the other EU countries.
Giulio Vuolo, UK

We should recognise that joining the euro is a political decision more than economic one. It would necessitate joining the Federal United States of Europe with the consequent loss of sovereignty and nationality. We should never, never, join.
John Lyon, England

Multinationals rule the global economy
Anko, UK
In a 24-hour economy that spans the world, countries are no longer able to have even a limited influence over their national economies. Multinationals rule the global economy and only a much stronger currency can stand up against these global powers that are the real, and absolutely unelected, rulers in this world.
Anko, UK

Dammed if we do, dammed if we don't.
Sophie, GB

Go on just read the comments, have you seen the pattern. The USA wants us out and generally speaking the Europeans want us in. The only people not asking us what we think is the British government. As for the British Press being anti-Europe their mainly owned by Americans anyway.
rich Hardwick, Spain (Brit)

Why should the general public give up their currency? Then again Labour want us to give up everything else!
J Mince, England

There should be a referendum and the vote should be a resounding NO. It's not a matter of economics; it's a matter of sovereignty and our right to control our own economic decisions.
Peter Fisher, USA

A referendum could split the UK even further. Both Scotland and Wales are likely to vote in favour of the euro with England voting against. Will the Chancellor allow Scotland and Wales to trade in Euros and join modern Europe whilst England maintains its jaundiced old fashioned view of Europe and pines for its Empire.
Gerry, UK

Yes to a referendum
Andrea Brown, England
No to joining the single currency. Yes to a referendum. Let the people of this country show Tony Blair just what we think.
Andrea Brown, England

There should be no delay. We should join the euro as soon as possible. There is no need for referendum
Mahendra Ratansi, UK

We are going to join the euro sooner or later because we have no where else to go but to economic isolation, it is as inevitable as us first joining the EEC, but the longer we stay out the less chance we have to build a Europe which is good for both the UK and Europe and take advantage of the benefits of membership (easily 4,000,000,000). We're shooting ourselves in the foot again!
Iain Summers, UK

I live in the Netherlands, and adopting the Euro has not made a big a difference to my life; some prices have gone up and others down. Mortgages are cheaper now for example. When our family visits from Wales and England, they all remark on the lower prices here in Euroland. I don't think Europe really cares if the UK joins - but this crazy nationalism in UK just stops Europe going forward and strengthens the Union.
Agnes Clarke, Netherlands (UK expat)

GB should not enter the euro until after the next General Election
Peter, UK
GB should not enter the Euro until after the next General Election, for purely selfish reasons: I will not be able to register my support for the single currency. I believe the government should reduce the voting age to sixteen if only for the euro referendum as the decision will affect young people for the rest of our lives.
Peter, UK

Erm, I don't exactly see Norway or Switzerland struggling through lack of participation in the euro. They have some of the highest living standards in Europe - I'd rather follow their example and stay out!
James, UK

I have to agree with Tony Parrott. In terms of culture and business practice the UK is much closer to the US than Europe - we all speak English for a start! I'd sooner integrate with the US that the majority of Europe. Physical distance is no longer a barrier in this day and age.
Alick, UK

I am fully against the euro for the foreseeable future. But what damages our case is this idea of inevitability. We have to have a viable alternative to a non-euro UK on offer and to shout for!
James Malcolm, Lancashire

We will end up joining eventually - but if we join sooner rather than later we can make sure that the rules suit us.
Richard, UK

We're a proud country but would be made into a puppet state by European technocrats
Justin Wheeler, England
I'm from England - not Europe. Enough said. We're a proud country but would be made into a puppet state by European technocrats who have no grasp of reality or common sense. Have we learned nothing from history!?
Justin Wheeler, England

What a surprise! The UK Government once again bottles out of making a decision either way. I remember Tony Blair calling John Major "weak, weak, weak" for delaying the decision. What does this make Messrs. Blair and Brown? UK businesses need and deserve positive leadership, not this wishy-washy cop-out. Make a decision, one way or the other, Mr Blair, and then stick to it!
David Hazel, UK

Certainly Britain should join the euro. We are Europeans and should aim to get conditions right for joining asap!
Helen Newport, USA

We'd better join something, or be left behind - a small offshore island, increasingly weak economically. We're Europeans, but if it's not Europe, then the USA could be good but not so sensible.
Keith Barrett, UK

We should join the North American Free Trade Association - i.e. go in with America, Canada and Mexico - it could easily become a North Atlantic Free Trade Association. People forget that we do as much or more trading with America as we do with Europe and we would not have to lose our national independence or our sovereignty.
Ashley Buck, UK

If anything, we should be looking towards the Dollar rather than the Euro
Alan Rickards, England
Definitely a "no" vote! Britain has more in common with the USA than it has with mainland Europe. If anything, we should be looking towards the Dollar rather than the Euro.
Alan Rickards, England

This country should have the Euro as soon as possible, Businesses have been dealing in the Euro for years and it would reduce costs all round.
N. G. Bridle, UK

I'm British, always have been, always will be! It's not just about losing the pound, its losing control of our right to decide how we are governed. If it isn't broke, don't try to fix it.
Alistair, Britain, not Europe

We should not accept the euro even if it would be to our economic benefit. We are a sovereign nation and we should have control over our own affairs. Briton fought two wars to keep our rights to self determination. We have already lost our rights to make our own laws to the EU, as soon as the currency goes we will no longer be a Nation.
Paul Reading, Great Britain

Further integration may now be the only way to break the Conservative policy consensus which is strangling our society. If it brings a bit of socialism to this country then I'm all for it.
David, England

If we must have a single European currency, then once the economics are proven I think we should invite our neighbours to join the Pound. This will of course have the political knock on effect of them eventually becoming part of the United Kingdom.
Neil Flavelle, UK

After all this procrastination, the countries already in the euro zone should hold a referendum as to whether they really want Britain to join them.
Duncan Large, Germany

The EU is yesterday's thinking - let's stay out!
Dave, England
So Mr Brown right now wants us all to spend money preparing for the euro. OUR money will be spent I assume, on a project that the majority of UK citizens oppose. Now the political elite have devised a cunning plan - the United States of Europe. Whether we want it or not - we'll end up paying for it. The EU is yesterday's thinking - let's stay out!
Dave, England

The government is clouding the issue - the reasons for joining or not joining the euro are political. The economic issues are a smokescreen which Blair and Brown are hiding behind. Give the people the vote and let's settle the issue once and for all. We all know the British are too sensible to gamble away out future by joining the euro. Let's concentrate on the issues that really matter.
Craig Lanham, England

I think Britain should join the euro. The success of the Labour Party or the Blair-Brown partnership in managing the UK economy is causing people to doubt whether joining is a good idea. I will rather have Blair-Brown in inside reshaping Europe, than being outside. Will people change their minds if the Euro parliament and decision making were taking from Whitehall and the Euro was called the Pound?
Arthur, London, UK

My answer is an emphatic "no"!
Sue Hudson, London, UK
If someone can let me know just one good thing about the EU and the euro then I might go for it, until then having seen the shambles that is Europe and its banking system, my answer is an emphatic "no"!
Sue Hudson, London, UK

These anti-euro people are proud of the pound. They like being different and independent from Europe. But of course! The euro means more jobs, higher FDI flows and lower prices: Why on earth would we want to join?!
Tim Sheedy, UK

Joining the euro will benefit the manufacturing sector, I think that is a really good reason to join.

We should not be ruled by another country and we should have our own industry and economy (we need more skilled craftsman). Anything that comes in should have an import tax. Protect our own people in their work.
Kate Veitch, England

The only people who stand to benefit from the UK joining the Euro are the Europeans whose economies are floundering with high cost, unemployment and subsidies. Why do I want to subsidise them - to make my life worse I don't think so. France and Germany have their own agendas which includes telling everyone else what to do - no let's stay out!
Nick S, UK

It is not in Britain's wider best interests to join the Euro
Ian Harvie, UK
Too much consideration is given by politicians to transient economic factors. There are other, more important issues involved in this debate. It is not in Britain's wider best interests to join the Euro.
Ian Harvie, UK

Definitely NO to joining; we must remain in control of our own destiny. Even the German's think we are better off out of the euro. It is crazy to think one size fits all!
Philip Poulsom, UK

Gordon Brown has got it spot on we are not ready. We will never be ready. The Pound is too important and is a part of our British tradition and culture. Loose the pound, loose our history. Britain is too great to loose its history.
Matt Jakeman, England

What a complete waste of time and expense every time we cross the Channel. Changing money, having to work out what everything costs. This is a nonsense we must join asap and gain the full benefits or EU membership. We have sat on the sidelines for too long, we now have the opportunity to participate fully.
Barry, England

If we accept the euro, what is next, a new President?
Jon Hopkins, UK

How can we ever trust the politicians, when in the last referendum we were told we were only joining a 'free trade zone.' If we had known the truth then, I'm sure most would have voted no. I will never vote for the Euro, nor further integration. What's wrong with being different?
Michael Hines, England

We have been dipping our toe into the water for too long, we have to make a decision before we lose out.
Eileen, UK

If we have to have a combined currency why are we only looking in one direction
Tony Parrott, UK
NO! I'm proud to be independent from Europe. If we have to have a combined currency why are we only looking in one direction, why not look across the Atlantic and combine the US Dollar and the UK Pound, now that would really create a major currency. Then watch some of those European countries jump ship to join us!
Tony Parrott, UK

Changing to the Euro would be the biggest strategic mistake made in the UK in the past 70 years. Don't go for that. The UK is not between the wall and the sword, as Portugal was when they had to join the Euro. Portugal is the biggest sufferer in the Euro area. Don't make the same mistake in Britain.
Maria Bastos, UK

It is one of the natural developments of joining the common market. We must join. However, as we had a referendum before entering the market we should have one now.
Roy Davies

There are no allegiances within the whole of Europe
Dean, England
I am against joining the Euro. We will remain proud of the pound, the fighting force that comes with it and the country we live in. There are no allegiances within the whole of Europe, it is our right to remain who we are.
Dean, England

The only way Blair will be accepted as President of the EU is if he takes us into the Euro. The only way Brown will be allowed to be PM is if Tony 'steps up'. It's personal ambition that is driving this not the will of the people.
Stuart Shaw, Woking UK

Seems to be just a political thing for Blair and his cronies. Was it in Labour's election manifesto to destroy Britain? What next, a referendum on dropping English as the National language.
Andrew Campling, England

I understand the British fear of joining the Euro even though I guess Brits don't understand that in the long term it just would be better for them. What I don't understand is why some anti-euro activists use nationalism and sovereignty as motivation and don't consider the various economic interests (positive or negative). I would love to see the UK in Europe since I do consider it as much European as any other country in this continent. Be aware, you really might become the US's 51st state.
Andy, UK (Italian ex-pat)

It does not take a rocket scientist to know that an interest rate for the UK is not likely to be right for Poland, and that is what Euroland means. Do these politicians think we are stupid?
David, Rochford, Essex

I will vote no in a referendum because no-one has convinced me it is right for this country.
Rachel Mc, Oxford

The UK can be part of the European version and will benefit hugely
Gerry Barker, Oxford
The US is so vastly wealthy because of its enormous internal market, even though the individual states have their own tax, spending and legislature. The UK can be part of the European version and will benefit hugely.
Gerry Barker, Oxford, UK

They'll be no more 'rip-off Britain' when prices are transparent across Europe - bring on the Euro!
Nick, Leicester, UK

Joining the Euro might be good economics from one angle, however, it is a serious erosion of democracy to give control of the economy to a group of unelected people.
Justin Wimbush, England

Joining the euro will make us the Isle of Wight of Europe - high cost, fewer jobs, little manufacturing, little inward investment. A nice place to which to retire but not much good for business or the younger population.
Chris Chubb, England

Of course the UK should join the Euro. Large companies who have invested in the UK (Honda, Toyota et al) have done so on the assumption that the UK will soon be trading in euros. Failure to join the Euro will mean that these companies will be moving elsewhere.
Dave Hall, UK

Yes let us join now and forget the Empire thats day has long gone
Randy, Portugal
The UK is in a better shape than most EU members and ahead in its service industries which Germany and France lack. France and its unions and Germany and its heavy industries are no match for the new fast growing service industry. Yes, let us join now and forget the Empire thats day has long gone. Today it is the UK economy that rules.
Randy, Portugal

The Euro has been a disaster for Ireland our prices are too high.
Raul Kharbanda, Dublin Ireland

Britain should join the Euro as soon as possible, and support a unified Europe as much as possible. A unified Europe will be a stronger Europe, both economically and politically strong
Peter Bloore, Britain

As soon as the nations involved in the Euro start getting a grip of their economies, it might possibly be worth considering joining at some point. Until then, we should avoid it like the plague.
Alan, Scotland

The pressure is on to bounce the UK into the Euro. Perhaps this is because the German economy alone cannot powerhouse the Euro indefinitely. In 2004, the EU will be enlarged by ten new member states, eight of which have weak post-communist economies. Having the fourth strongest economy on the planet roped in would certainly help take up the strain.
Ian Holyhead, UK

Whatever the economic indicators it remains a political decision.
Mohamed, Uk

Personally I'd prefer to join the Dollar
Paul Weaver, United States Of Europe
Personally I'd prefer to join the Dollar, and become similar to Canada in an U.S/Canada/UK/Aus/NZ free trade block. It's much easier to emigrate when you don't have to learn another language!
Paul Weaver, United States Of Europe

We do need a single European currency, in order to trade with our European neighbours.
Chris, Liverpool

Why should we relinquish our currency and its history when we are doing better economically than the rest of Europe.
Rachel McCann, Oxford, UK

At the last referendum on Europe we voted to join a common market for trade, not a Federal Superstate.
Clive Watkinson, Barnsley, UK

If we join now we'll just be subsidising France and Italy's huge social spending deficits. France already lives on EU subsidy: Lets not write them a blank cheque!
Dave Linney, England

Certainly, we will have to equalise up on higher taxes in Europe, but will we also equalise down on prices/cost of living to European averages.???
Martin Flint, England

I would strongly advise against joining, it may well make trade easier but for the general public it will lead to huge increases in everyday goods and services. Prices here have increased from between 10 and 200 %, even the average shopping bill is now after 18 months of the euro about 30 % higher. About 75 % of the population here in Holland are very annoyed with the situation and I believe if given the opportunity would take the guilder back tomorrow !!
Mark Ades, Netherlands

What ever did nationalism and sovereignty do for the good of humanity other than cause war, incite hatred, create political and social divide or promote worldwide inequality? If joining the Euro means loosing our sovereignty then good!
James Pittman, UK

Given that both Germany and France have fallen off the planet with respect to the 3% rule on deficits, it would be wise to stay out, unless you want to support the financial problems of these two other countries with your own money.
Paul Quigley, Canada

I think Britain should not join the Euro
Petra, Slovenia
I think Britain should not join the euro. People there are obviously not ready for it despite potential advantages. Unemployment is lower then in continental EU but some citizens in Britain can't live with one salary and have to work in two jobs to provide for themselves and their family.
Petra, Slovenia

I am a Brit living Germany. Don't stay stuck in the past, enjoy the benefits of the future with the Euro. You are going to have accept it sooner or later and later will be expensive or worst, too late
Jai Mallett, Germany

In a globalised neo-liberalist economy such as we have now, the concept of the nation-state is outdated, irrelevant and inefficient. A single currency makes sense.
Tim Haines, UK

The government takes our money and now they want to take our independence! We should not join!!!
Ali, England

There is no need not to join the Euro. The simplest way to resolve this issue is to let the euro be readily available alongside sterling, then business and the public will decide what it wants.
Zorba Eisenhower, UK

It is time for Britain to join the club rather than being isolated
Ahmed Mirsal, Saudi Arabia-Yemen National
British Governments have been politically in support with U.S foreign policies since decades. To join Euro would be free from such involvement because the coming era is for nations of merge, solid economy and stability world widely. I believe it is time for Britain to join the club rather than being isolated.
Ahmed Mirsal, Saudi Arabia-Yemen National

I think a nation's strength depends upon its spirit and losing its individuality is the foremost step taken towards crushing its spirit. UK should never ever try to follow other nations in not only this but any other matter - the greatness and individuality of this ever great nation should be always preserved.
Aarthi, India

Of course there should be a referendum. The people must decide. Even the uninformed and 'pleb on the street' should have a vote, they do for parliament, why should it be taken away for a great deal more important and ever lasting decision?
Alan Waddington, UK

We should not adopt the Euro until the major countries on the continent change their restrictive regulation of business. Until they do that, we have an advantage and should not give it up.
Carlton Beman, England

Staying out of the Euro would be bad for us psychologically, and economically as well if you look to the longer term. Compared with much of Europe, Britain is a backward mess in many ways. Joining Europe is a way forward for us, out of our self-obsessed, "little England" mentality. It is also crucial for the future of the world to make Europe strong and united, as a voice of reason, and a power to hold the US in check. In a few years or decades the US could be running the planet, putting down dissidence with military force, provoking acts of terrorism to justify it. Europe is a question that should make us look to the long-term.
Jonathan, UK

It would be a very important step forward for all of us Europeans if Britain joined the euro
Topi Lappalainen, Finland
It would be a very important step forward for all of us Europeans if Britain joined the euro. Britain should join right away and a vote in the Parliament should be enough. That would really patch things up between Britain and the rest of Europe after the Iraqi WMD fiasco.
Topi Lappalainen, Finland

It would be interesting to see referenda in every part in Britain separately. Maybe Scotland or Wales want to join and England wants to stay out. Will England then allow them to join the euro or will they do just what they claim the EU will do with them, make "dictatorial" decisions.
Stefan, Belgium

I've been to the Eurozone a couple of times and talked to a lot of people from there. They say there has been a bit of a mark up on prices but no-one seems overly bothered. The anti argument seems to be howling about being submerged in a Franco-German 'empire' with the same influence as Luxemburg rather than being the 2nd or 3rd largest player in a group of 15 plus nations.
Cei Stockport, UK

In France there is almost pity for Britain. The benefits of joining far outweigh the cost. Britain's xenophobia and arrogance provokes the question "does Britain deserve to even be in the EU?" Every time I read British newspapers I see anti-French sentiment and general anti-Europeanism. Why is this kind of racism in England? 100 years ago the British and French Empires were the two most powerful entities in the world. 100 years on I still see this kind of "independent empire" ideology expressed by so-called "little-Englanders".
Jacques, France

I would ask Jacques from France why he feels such pity for us over here. France is as strike-bound as we were in the 1970s. In France Unemployment is at 9.3% and growing, here it is under 5%. In France growth is half what it is here. Inward investment into the Eurozone is shrinking and the UK's share of Europe's total inward investment is growing. What exactly is it that we are missing out on by not being part of the Euro
Darrin Hawkins, UK

This is supposed to be a union of equal courtiers where each of them still keeps their history, pride, identity and sovereignty
Mickey, Germany
I can't understand people frightened that "Germany or France will tell UK what to do"? Why would someone assume this kind of relationship? They don't have to, and neither should UK tell Germany and France what to do. This is supposed to be a union of equal courtiers where each of them still keeps their history, pride, identity and sovereignty. The point was synergy - we can do much more together than as separate units. It seems that more information is needed as clear pros and cons before this referendum.
Mickey, Germany

The lack of flexibility the "one size fits all" Eurozone financial environment would impose on the UK is the key reason why it would not be good for us to join. It's also why part of the EU is in recession, part is inflating and the European Central Bank is unable to properly manage either problem. Even single countries have problems like this, the UK would work better if the South and North could have different rates to suit their economies
John Smith, UK

We need the Euro to be properly part of the Union, and stop all this 'Little British' nationalist nonsense. We are all Europeans, like it or not.
A Casey, UK

I want to be in Europe but not run by Europe. Changing currency is obviously a huge step towards losing our national identity. British people should have the right to decide for or against the Euro and be told by the Government just how much it will cost the tax payer to join. If the Government truly had the interests of the British people at heart, they would have called for a referendum. They chose to ignore us. Democracy in this country is being crushed by Blair. We have every right to have these and other questions answered in an honest and proper manner.
Fiona E. Lister, UK

We need to forget out outsider island mentality and be a part of Europe
Alexei, UK
Changing currency is not tantamount to losing one's national identity. Britain will sooner or later have to succumb to joining the Euro at any rate, so why not now? We need to forget out outsider island mentality and be a part of Europe, and a key step to being a part of Europe is, of course, adopting the Euro as our currency.
Alexei, UK

Yes it is undoubtedly time that there should be a joint referendum on the issues of joining the euro and the despicable proposed constitution. Both attack our birth right to self government via our elected representatives, with NO unelected dictators or would be unelected presidents (at least the American people elect theirs) I for one would rather die in defence of my nation than be a mongrel amongst other mongrels of a fractured and self destructive entity called Euroland.
Alex Amaira, UK

Do not join. We have lost enough sovereignty. And do not agree to new constitution
James Kerr, Scotland

No. More importantly I think it is sad that the Brits joined the EU. I don't see how all of you are going to agree on a constitution. I just can't imagine that at some point France or Germany may be able to tell the UK what to do and how to do it. I have more respect for England and out ties than that of "our oldest ally" France. Turn back before it's too late!
Mr Sandy Clark, USA

No! Europe should keep Britain out of Euro. How arrogant can you be; should Britain join the Euro? Why don't you ask if the Europeans would like having the Brits in the euro? Do you think we are a second class club just begging you to join us?
Anteo Sergovich, Croatia

NO we should not join it will take the Great out of Britain. People are fed up of being ripped off.
John Sexton, England

The pound is Britain's past and as a part of future Britain, I hope the pound will be our future
Matt, Aged 13, Surrey, UK
As a young teenager it's not just me but also my peers who have strong feelings against the euro. I have recently been on an exchange trip to Holland and prices were horrendous. No one I spoke to was happy with the euro. The pound is Britain's past and as a part of future Britain, I hope the pound will be our future.
Matt, Aged 13, Surrey, UK

I don't understand why we need the euro. We do a lot of trade with the US but people aren't calling us little Englanders for not adopting the dollarr. Just like I can visit my neighbours without knocking all our houses into one big house, why can't I continue to visit France without turning our two countries into one?
Willy Davidson, UK

No Britain should stay as independent as possible.
Charles, Canada

I say no to European integration generally. In an age when states are breaking apart amid much fighting and bloodshed (think the former Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia, the former Czechoslovakia etc) it is lunacy to take such a disparate group of countries and expect them to function as one. Even the USA, held up as an example of how it works so well, was only saved with the loss of 600,000 lives. As they say in France, vive la difference!
Karl Peters, UK

It's irrelevant. It doesn't matter one way or another - the reality is the markets set interest rates, not governments, we'll lose no control. As for sovereignty, when the Pound was on the gold standard, where was the sovereignty there, we were using the same global currency - gold - and had no control over its price or value. Ignore the euro, there are more important issues.
Bill Martin, UK

It is long overdue that either Britain become a full fledge family member of EU and behave as such or become 51st State of US, as it had done in the case of recent war on Iraq by joining the US. Her attitude of right foot in/with/for US and left foot in/with/for EU is not fair and right to any cause.
Abdulhuq Ingar, Toronto, Canada

Six Forum: Should Britain join the euro?
08 May 03  |  Have Your Say
Pro-euro MPs step up pressure
08 May 03  |  Politics


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