Thursday, December 18, 2008

Can we take the euro-pain?

It seems like a lifetime ago, but it was only in January when Matt Cooper was asking the question: 'Is it time to leave the euro'?

I've always thought the decision to join the euro was wrong. Why? Well, it was all due to an economics lecture I attended in 1992. The topic was the currency. According to the lecturer (can't remember his name right now) being part of the single currency or not was not a major issue, but it would be catastrophic if we joined and Britain didn't. Well, looks like he knew what he was talking about.

I was reminded of all this last night watching George Lee's report on the news last night. He never mentioned the possibility of leaving the euro, but anyone listening to him had to have that question somewhere in their head? Can we endure the pain that being part of the euro is causing?

I've mentioned this to a couple of people and they all come back with references to Iceland. And, yes, Iceland is a scary example. Okay. How 'bout this? It makes more sense for us to have a single currency with the UK than with the rest of the Eurozone? That's almost heresy, I know, and bordering on a topic I never touch here, but really we'd better off with Sterling than with the Euro. Our economy more closely matches Britain's than Germany's, France's or Italy's. We can rejoin the euro when (if) the UK joins.

We should rerun two EU Treaty referendums next year: Lisbon & Maastricht. A 'Yes' to Lisbon and 'No' to Maastricht might set things right.