Pro-Europeans say government is not serious about joining the euro

9 June 2003

Pro-Europeans have criticised today’s statement by Gordon Brown for not outlining a serious commitment to joining the euro.

“Over the past six years, the government has made no serious effort to lead public opinion on the subject of the euro. Britain is now paying the price,” said Brendan Donnelly, chair of Federal Union, the only British campaigning organisation that criticises the government for not being pro-European enough.

“Along with other pro-Europeans, I am yet to be convinced that the government is serious about joining the euro. The government needs to make it “clear and unambiguous” that it intends to join,” said Brendan Donnelly.

“No referendum on the euro in this country will ever be won without a long and well-planned campaign beforehand to explain the political and economic benefits of membership. It is not clear even now that the government is ready to do this.”

“The Prime Minister says that he intends to lead a national debate on Europe. This is no more than the same promise he made when launching the Britain in Europe campaign in 1999.”

“The pro-European campaign needs a new start, not the same old discredited rhetoric.”

Gordon Brown has erected another huge barrier to British membership of the single currency. It is optimistic indeed to believe that the British housing market will be fundamentally transformed by the time of the budget next year.

“Every A-level student knows that you can’t pass tests without preparing for them properly,” said Brendan Donnelly, Chair of Federal Union. “The government has not yet shown that it is serious.”

ends

Notes to editors

1. Federal Union is Britain’s campaign for a united and democratic Europe. It is the only campaigning organisation in this country which criticises the government for not being pro-European enough. It was founded in 1938. Its website is www.federalunion.org.uk.

2. For more details, contact Brendan Donnelly on 07956 379129 or Richard Laming on 07785 784467.

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