Should Britain join the Euro?

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Cormac Smyth 12g                Mr. Tregenna



The decision that faces the government about whether or not the United Kingdom should join the European single currency, the euro, is one of the most important economic decision the government has had to make in sixty years.  In 1944 Britain joined a system of fixed exchange rates to ensure that after the war the currency was stable.  This system was called the Bretton Woods system and it lasted until the early 1970’s.  Under the Breton Woods system Britain still retained the pound.  If we choose to join the euro, the difference will be that the change will be permanent and the pound sterling will cease to exist altogether.

There are a number of arguments to be put across for and against the United Kingdom joining.  A lot of these arguments are political, instead of economic.  Indeed it is a totally separate argument as to whether the decision to join should be taken on political or economic grounds.  Tony Blair’s Labour government has chosen to take the decision entirely on economic considerations.  HM Treasury has just finished a thorough assessment of these five tests and Gordon Brown has concluded that the economic case for joining the single currency is not strong enough at the moment for the Government to recommend joining.

I am in favour of joining the euro for many reasons.  To start with the single currency is just part of a larger process called Euro Integration, that began in the years after World War Two.  European rivalries ancient grievances and nationalism caused Europe to go to war twice during the 20th Century.  The European Union today is a direct result of years and years of patient negotiation and peaceful co-existence and the single currency is an important element needed to take Europe to the next level.  What is the next level?  During the Cold War, after the 2nd World War the founders of the European Economic Community wanted to build a strong, united Europe in order to act as a buffer between Moscow and Washington.  Today the Soviet Union is gone and the only superpower that remains is the United States of America.  As recent events have told us the US acts aggressively in defence of its national interests.  I believe that the US is correct in waging a global war on terrorism but I do not believe that they have thought through the consequences that their actions will have in the long run.  I believe that a strong Europe can provide the necessary restraint on the US.  The single currency is a key part of the building of a strong Europe.

Join now!

I know that the United Kingdom is in a difficult position as we all know there is a special relationship between America and Britain, but Britain is also dependant upon economic trade and relations with the rest of Europe.  As the Iraq war has demonstrated we have seen that it is rather hard for Britain and Tony Blair to retain these two positions.  In the near future Britain must choose if they want to join the single currency or remain semi-detached.

I believe there are great economic advantages for Britain joining the Euro:

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