The sterling. Very possibly one of the last symbols of British independence from Europe.
Even after John Major's agonising negotiations in Maastricht, where he fought for an opt out of the single currency for the UK, Britain still had to feel the burn of joining the euro.
I refer to a day known as 'Black Wednesday.' Britain signed up to the ERM (European Exchange Rate Mechanism), whereby Britain would follow an economic policy which would stop the exchange rate of the sterling and other member currencies from fluctuating by over 6%. From the start, the high interest rates set up by Germany was a recipe for disaster, for at the time the rate of inflation for the UK was three times the rate of Germany's rate of inflation.
The Prime Minister and the top brass of the Cabinet spent all day trying to prevent withdrawal from the ERM. Traders went crazy, and believing that we would have to withdraw, placed themselves in the position to make a tidy profit. On that 16th September 1992, the base interest rate rose from something like 7%, to 10, 12 and finally to 15% in a day. Billions of pounds were set aside to buy the sterling being rapidly sold, to stop the pound dropping lower than the minimum rate set by the ERM.
By 7pm, it was announced that Britain would be leaving the ERM. Britain lost £3.3 billion that day. The horrible irony is that we may have actually made a profit had we been allowed to devalue to pound. In fact, it was later worked out that devaluation could have made us £2.4 billion.
Of course, there were big winners that day. Millionaires and billionaires were made. And the biggest losers? Guess who.
Even without joining the euro, we managed to lose money because of the interference of Europe. Black Wednesday was even blamed for the recession in 1990. And so, would you really put our money in the hands of the Germans who, lets be honest, control the Euro?
The pound is also one of the last symbols of Britain. We have had to fight to keep our lion and unicorn on the front of our passports. We give £65 billion to the European Union every year. Do you really want to give away the last vestiges of pride we have? My answer is no!
I am a layman when it comes to economics, but I do know what is likely to affect me and my family.
The 20th century saw Europe tear itself apart in the two world wars, in which my family's three sons gave their lives. If being more engaged in the EU will guarantee the peace then I'm all for it.
On the economy, I was always told how London was the pre-eminent global financial centre. That may have been true in the days of funding the Suez Canal or the Indian Railways. Today that reputation lies in the dust as we learn how our bankers backed ventures so complex and full of risk that their banks came tumbling down.
As an export salesman in the 1980s, I drove all over Europe visiting customers. I had to carry at least 6 different currencies in my wallet just to buy a coffee or go to the loo each time I crossed a frontier. With the Euro it's a breeze.
As a grandfather, I hope my two young grandsons may have the opportunity to get a job anywhere in the EU without hassle, red tape and currency risk.
Finally I just worked out that out of 50 countries in all parts of Europe, and Turkey, only 40% of people live in the Eurozone. If that figure had been higher during the financial crisis, would it have afforded greater protection to the Euro exchange rate against other world currencies? I would be interested to hear from an economics sage with an answer.
I am in favour of joining the Euro but only to confirm the outcome of a UK referendum which endorsed that action, AND on a free, cross-party, vote.
Will it happen in my lifetime - perchance to dream!
Peace and prosperity to all
I personally, believe given the recent economical circumstances, it would be unwise to do so. My general opinion is that we should never join because I am Welsh, British, and the pound represents our currency and national identity, but I'll leave this aside for the sake of my opinion.
Our national debt is huge and one of the best ways to manage it is to have a flexible currency and adapt it to our circumstances. Greece is a fantastic case in point. One way to manage national debt is to allow the currency to weaken. Greece cannot do this due to the members of the sincle currency requiring different requirements. The only way Greece would allow its debt to be reduced by a weaker currency is through the value of the Euro weakening. this either means inflation rates of 20%+ for Germany and France for a few years, or to sit with it and be left hanging. Imangne this was allowed to happen to the UK. It would be disasterous.
It all boils down to the simple face that you cannot have Monetary Union without Political union. This is why it works perfectly with the USA and also with England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland having the pound. It's because all are intertwined perfectly politically and I do believe that would be the only other alternative for Greece as a case in point and as a result, if we were to join it would errode our national and soverign identity. The third option is that Greece leaves the Euro and cripples its economy more than it already is as a result.
I'm highlighting Greece as a case in point because it's a perfect example of someone with the same national debt as a percentage of GDP in relation to us. We wouldn't be able to live by these circumstances, but it's something we would be expected to obide by and have little say in the matter.
The other, wider picture is the loss of our ability to set interest rates. If we had joined, luckily the interest rates in the Eurozone are akin to ours, but say for example inflation rose in Germany or France, it might rise and be out of allignment with us. Even so, the mere fact that we'd be unable to set them and adapt them to our circumstances is something which would frighten me and the loss of soverignty in this area is one of the ways in which the UK is best suited to manage it's economy.
Hopefully, we won't go down the Euro route but if we did this is the alarming prospect that we would have to deal with. Seventeen years of stability means these issues are only coming to the forefront now, and I think we can consider ourselves lucky this is the right decision the government chose to make.
For Britain to work well with this currency it's to stay out altogether or go for full political union with Europe. Hopefully the latter will never happen.
We are Euro peein
Next years election is just around the corner and I'm lobbying for Labour theme tune should be Tina Turners 'We don't need another zero' - after the dreadful state of the UK's GDP, we are very close to the Trillion mark so by next year our debt would elapse that. - So spending 40 million a day on being in the European Market, for being a part-time friend of the EU, doesn't actually make sense. Now the law-makers stroke money-men are just pretending that its not actually their problem, so they give out 9.3 Million incentives to Simon Hester the new CEO of taxpayer owned RBS. Still not making sense! No exactly, when one part of the debt riddled UK jumps the money-men just continues to pee it up the wall. In fact now that the Big firms have come-up with exterminating the lower waged employees by simply not paying anyone for a month, another poor delinquent concept by the CEO's of firms who are quite happy about not having their months wages. The fact that they have over 75 times the salary of the gerbils at the bottom of the pay scale is simply deranged and they required Russell Grant to sit on them, so they squeal like as if a Dyson has sucked up their scrotums.
This is no joke, the UK is working the longest hours than any other nation in the EU. In return the average worker is not getting any of the rewards due to working extra hours. Like the 200 year old Thames water pipes the UK excels in hemorrhages of massive magnitude, bureaucrats hide leaks and therefore in their deranged mind feel they're doing their job properly. What I have found so evident in the crazy jest in what we call Brussells where over 70% of the UK laws are made, they don't know the amount of monetry hemorrhages there are because of the spin and the over-killed bureaucrats that synchronize blue-berry muffin eating at 11 am and talk as if they know what is best for the country based on their greed and NVQ's in ticking multiple choices, and they could ring a friend. Their knowledge has failed the UK and has rinsed out cash for their expertise along with hot shot lawyers who really know nothing except where the best champagne is kept where-ever a whiff of Partnership talk which may include a few more noughts at the end of the month. To say the UK has a problem when it comes to actual work is an understatement, most of these people wouldn't know how to change a light-bulb, hence the fact they put it on expenses, let alone perhaps reform European Laws, or even change the parliaments constitution, for the sake of UK's democracy, what-ever that is.
The new House of Commons Speaker John Bercow who is a mere boy at 46 years of age may look like a reformer but his expense claims are very 'flippin' creative; going by that, I can honestly say the 'old guard' is still in charge when it comes to sweeping bad claims under the carpet. You would of thought that as a democratic process the UK public should of voted in the next Speaker, not the rotten to the core of fraud ministers who are our servants who make-up all this dribble and then expect the public to then wipe their noses with a rose scented handkerchief. - the fact that the Euro ministers are traveling first-class everywhere which is 900 GBP per hop; just going on an hours trip, is typical of the free market the UK bureaucrats are addicted to.
"Europeans work to live. Americans live to work." There's much to this adage, and even more so than decades ago. This analogy has proven to be advantageous to the free market dreaming the American dream before they woke up and smelt the toxic scent of debt, no more mint aromas of the crisp dollar note that entices the US greed machine that we UK public have suffered, thanks to no credit and that credit crunch that just won't go away. So a new way of thinking is dawning for the EU members; the 6 week annual holiday breaks that they're entitled to may have to become folk-lore. The Europeans will become like us eventually, overweight, dull and very politically correct. - 'The Spanish siesta' will also be scrapped as a national past-time; this will open a debate on what will they do for an hour when the sun is at it's peak. Perhaps do some work even, just like how it is in the baking trays of Canary Warf, where the 'red lobster' look is always in around the height of heat-waves, going by global warming forecasts.
What the large EU countries can do so easily is send off production contracts to the depths of the Eastern European nations, where the wages are lower and so jobs can be saved in the long-term, I'm kidding myself, in the UK the jobs have gone completely as the greed of CEO's have agreed on huge pension escape-goats to carry on their lavish lifestyles somewhere on the French Riviera. I suppose having a couple of miles of channel is the difference when it comes to a complete cut-off or a total sell-out. What is obvious is that the Europeans do have that choice, change location, or sell-out? It is available here in the UK but I still feel the channel has a bigger psychological reason for a total sell-off of business assets and corporations, resulting in loss of jobs. - You start to see a bigger picture when it comes to the depth of misery that the current down-turn has deployed on the French and Germans, they do have a 9.5% and a 9.8% unemployment rate that shows the hidden massacre that has hit the major firms. Behind the doors of broken firms lay the ruins of people's lives and a need for change that echoes in the corridors of Westminster especially after so many fiasco's that opens yet more skeletons in the closet now perched on the 'duck-house'. - It was of no surprise the BNP has stayed the same in the Euro election yet proportionally did a lot better than any of the main parties.
The Euro election results deem to be quite a reading earlier this month they read as follows:
CON 27.7% up 1%
UKIP 16.5% up 0.3%
LAB 15.7% down - 6.9%
LD 13.7% down - 1.2%
GRN 8.6% up 2.4%
BNP 6.2% 1.3%
- The rest don't matter.
What I must add is the collapse of the UK Pound has hit the public hugely, as it is the UK public who bring trade abroad to the impoverish many across the world, due to the decline of holidaying folk this will make a massive dent in many economies as September draws on by. I just have this niggling feeling that if the UK had joined the Euro currency nations in the beginning we may have got an escape mechanism out of all this currency doom and gloom. We did reap the rewards of a weakened Euro in the early days but now it is all pie in the sky, and now it sickens me to say that I did have my doubts. You are either in the EU for 100% or out, the UK systematically have failed their people with so much dithering and dipping their toes into the EU ocean that the whole concept as a money grabbing opportunity has fallen by the wayside; now we'll have to accept that the authoritarians were too busy paving way for the Romanians, Bulgarians and the Polish to work visa their way into the UK job market and then find they are just sending the money home to their families. Congratulations Westminster, you missed that one didn't you; no doubt you probably were flipping houses and speculating on Housing markets, to actually care about UK economic matters. - I blame these property shows.
What hit home was the building industry calling out for unions to embark on a conversation to the media about the infamous chant of 'UK jobs for UK workers'. Our very own Lordship 'private' Gordon Brown actually punched out this term in parliament with a clenched Scottish fist looking like William Wallace, no sorry Wallace from Wallace and Gromit. I felt the wind of the tartan kilts as he spurted it all out complete rhetoric of course, we all live in a free market. The reason why these anti fragrant migrants got the UK work is because they knew nothing about the minimal wage and councils thought it was Christmas, or Ramadan. They also cut costs by living 6 to one room illegally; the contracts won was cash in hand also. So, no National Insurance was paid, no taxes were paid. (Please don't quote me from my taxation review earlier, that was a completely different subject) pause to think pensively. I know the tide of immigrants has thankfully slowed, but the number in Calais waiting to reach these shores are bordering on calamity. There are small villages of these people around the area. You've got to hand it to the French, they'll never have the soft touch when it comes to nationalization and all we have is pathetic Philip Wilas whose immigration laws beggars belief when it came to the Gerkhas. Thank goodness Joanna Lumley stepped in and left a piece of nail varnish on his forehead.
Whatever you think of the BNP, the fact they have two seats in the law makers office in Brussels makes it very interesting in regards to EU representative balance, as it is the deeds of a very angry UK public that calls for a voice for the few nationals that still reside on our shores. One thing for sure, through our wonderful transparency that sweeps the UK like a crazy black marker pen, more stories and revelations will be unfolding as the public will want front seats in seeing the MEP expense claims. I fear the black marker pens would be at our expense in more than getting the receipt along with a few staples thrown in for good measure.
Copyright - 06 - 2009 - 1st2thebar
Britain contributes £40 million pounds a day to the European Union. Forty million pounds a DAY!!! For that we the British taxpayers get little back in subsidy and the EU lawyers and politicians fill their boots with it. Recently we were losing that much an hour as the pound collapsed against other foreign currencies.
When sterling was getting hammered and the Euro and dollar were high it was noticeable it was just after the oil price hit that six year $37 dollar low. All oil trades are purchased in dollars and so as oil recovered so did the dollar, the speculators moving against the pound. Pegging oil to the dollar means the dollar can also be speculated on. As oil has been rising again-now at $70 per barrel-the dollar is now falling again against the Euro and Sterling, showing just how much control the speculators have over the markets, regardless of the obvious plentiful oil supply in recession. In fact if you look at the recent oil prize on the graph it mirrors sterling's recovery. I think for that reason alone it would be wise to join the Euro to avoid Sterling being attacked by both currencies when it's weak. Whether we like it or not the European project is underway and a united currency is inevitable.
To introduce the Euro here it was cost around 4 billion of them, every vending machine, checkout till and just about everything that has a slot having to be changed. But the savings would be clear down the line and the Euro a much stronger currency with the British on board against the dollar. The European Union trading block will soon be equal to that of the United States.
As expected there was a contradictory result in the European Elections this week with the centre right parties sweeping the board, immigration and a growing anti European stance the real vote winner, the parties that traditionally prosper in recession doing rather badly, fiddling expenses and not those dodgy bankers the issue now in the UK. And if you think our MPs know how to fiddle the expenses then you should checkout the Euro MPs record!
There's no doubt Labour got punched in the face over expenses in both the local and Euro elections, but as most Labour voters cant give a toss about Europe its a great place to make that protest vote with no real comeback. It's a shame the BNP won two seats but that's purely Labours fault for not controlling immigration that would only ever impact on their core vote and not about a growing fascist vote in the UK. It's also a sign of a healthy democracy, the parties that actually believe in something getting the votes, the Greens picking up seats too. It's no good anyone repeating the mantra that the BNP are a knuckle draggers party (which it clearly is) because it's the sentiment that counts and everyone you and I know has an opinion on immigration and most of it is negative towards immigrants. The BNP vote was moronic but it is not a mass 'we hate black people vote'- it's a we are not happy with uncontrolled immigration vote, Browns policies over immigration not about giving immigrants a new life but purely about driving down wages and pensions cost the corporations no longer want to pay through that cheap unprotected labour. The U.K.I.P. vote is a similar right wing call and their combined vote with the BNP on Sunday for the European election was more than the governments. That is alarming and probably the end of the Labour Party. U.K.I.P. was the polite and acceptable BNP vote.
Most of the EU migrants have been superb for the country and welcome to keep coming. They work bloody hard and don't sign on when the work drys up. That is certainly not the case in some of the old Commonwealth immigrant groups still coming to the U.K. We no longer tolerate (and can afford to) that third world attitude in recession that the British benefit system is the pot of gold over the rainbow. I think we know who the groups are. The country is asking, look, how can it be that Afghans and East Africans-for example- have been crossing ten borders to get to the UK and seem to be able to claim the right to live here and then settle into an eventual life on benefits, heavily backed by greedy human rights lawyers? How can this be good for Great Britain in the long run, especially when we even let them hijack planes to get here to rubber-stamp their stay here? All very ironic if you consider the reasons why we are in Afghanistan?
-Euro Election results-
CON 27.7% up 1% and one seat to 25
UKIP 16.5% up 0.3% and up one seat to 13
LAB 15.7% down -6.9% but down 5 seats to 13
LD 13.7% down 1.2% but up one seat
GRN 8.6% up 2.4 still seats
BNP 6.2% 1.3% up with 2 seats
69 of 69 seats declared.
Like I said I hate everything the European parliament stands for. It's a waste of money. The relevance of the election result to the Euro currency is that the sweeping right wing is ironically anti Euro and some will look to destroy the parliament it from the inside. The purpose of the EU was ironically to stop the rights resurgence, but with an all-time low European wide vote of just over 40% its existence is beginning to become untenable, the vote falling every year. Nigel Farage, the articulate and forthright leader of U.K.I.P, earned my vote because he impresses me as a speaker. I'm sure his mission to bring down Europe, his election mandate (but the people, who pay him handsomely to be their MP), won't happen and he will get used to his cushy job, but at least he's a politician with a mandate and has carried it through and received votes for that.
If the right get their way they say the Euro currency will have to go. But that seems unlikely, spending billions to go back to Francs and Lira unjustified. I think we should embrace the Euro as it makes sense but its time to end the Euro parliament as it does nothing, the countries able to trade without the Euro lawyers and politicians able to scrape a healthy living off the top. Ferage says he will also push for a vote on the Euro being abolished and the another vote for the UK to leave the full blown European Union. I would love to see that and unlike the Irish we would give an emphatic and articulate Non! The Irish will vote 'Yes' next time because they don't want to jeopardise their huge handout, the highest in the Union. A United Irelands social security bill is the biggest outside Eastern Europe. And how ironic that Labours devolution and pro Europe policy has seen their vote collapse in Wales and Scotland and the country breaking up.
As my own personal view, I'm sceptical of joining the Euro, but believe that it should not necessarily be ruled out. Although of course things in financial markets change all the time, at the moment the pound has fallen sharply against the Euro, and the dollar, which causes great instability for some businesses.
For businesses that have to buy in materials from overseas, the costs of importing items go up when the value of the pound goes down, which makes it more expensive to produce items. Although the reverse is true, and our exports become cheaper for overseas buyers, it's the more the lack of certainty that threatens businesses and could put them out of business.
Joining the Euro would therefore give us some stability in the financial markets, which would make it easier for companies to invest here and do business here, without worrying about exchange rate fluctuations.
For individuals, buying overseas would be easier if there was a single currency. It would be much easier to compare prices across different European countries, and pay for them without again worrying about changes in the exchange rate, or being surcharged for buying an item in another currency.
There is also the possible benefit of constraining the economy if we were a member of the Euro. A large currency is less likely to be hit by fluctuations, which might make it easier to control inflation, interest rates and even taxation.
However, there are political dangers, even though there are many economic advantages in my opinion. Handing over control of your currency is a major development for any nation state, and is inevitably risky, as decisions are no longer always necessarily made on behalf of this nation. It could be argued that in a global economy, it's hard for Governments to isolate our economy in any event, but there is a reassurance that in times of trouble for Britain, a British Government would be in control of the economy and all the fiscal and monetary instruments.
So overall, I'd say that for the moment we need to stay outside the Euro zone, as there's no rush to join. There are some political dangers, and we can have the advantage of waiting to see how the Euro works over a longer period of time. That gives us the advantages of deciding whether it is right for Britain, having seen the experiences in other major economies such as France and Germany.
Therefore, possibly the Euro is a good system to join, but the for the moment, in my opinion we do ourselves no harm by sitting outside the Euro zone and seeing how it progresses.
This debate has been going for years now but it still isn't an easy question to answer for a whole raft of reasons. There are economic issues, political issues, and 'national pride' issues to take into consideration. For that reason I am going to keep this quite short (I hope lol!) and try to keep it as simple as possible, without losing the thrust of my arguments. Here goes.
Shall we join? Let's have a referendum, let the people decide!! Isn't democracy grand? Without wishing to generalise too much, the majority of the great British public aren't and won't be, made fully aware of the implications of voting to join the Euro. If the government of the day wishes us to join the Euro, it will happen, make no mistake about it. Referenda are very short, simplistic questionnaires, usually put together by very clever people, who know the answer they want, and will phrase the question(s) in such a way as to get the answer they want. End of story.
Why we should join?
A common currency - is a fine aspiration but what about when you travel outside of Europe or even within Europe to member states who aren't Euro users? You will still be required to convert currency. In the 21st century, we can already many cashpoint machines abroad (see the Visa or Mastercard signs??) although if we cannot read the host countries language...that's a separate issue though!! We will still probably take money abroad in the shape of travellers' cheques (Euro travellers cheques but still cheques) and your flexible friend is accepted worldwide. However, we won't need to convert prices to local currency anymore (Euros is Euros right?) as prices will be roughly the same price anywhere within Euro using countries. A staggeringly naive assumption - different tax rates, different tax systems e.g. VAT will prove this unfounded (but we could adopt Mr Prodi's suggestions of a Euro tax for all member states). We will recognise the value of these (admittedly colourful but somehow childlike) notes and be able to tell when we are being ripped off though.
It will harmonise relations with the rest of Europe - Hmmm rose tinted spectacle time. Think farming, think export, think asylum seekers. We have not exactly ever been bosom buddies with our nearest neighbours, we have a disturbing habit of fighting wars between ourselves and Euro 'partners' for hundreds of years, we can't even agree that a cucumber should be bent or straight, or whether its really on to produce wine generously laced with anti freeze and sell it our partners!! A more serious case is the ongoing issues raging with France over asylum seekers at Sangatte, which still shows no signs of abating.
It will bring trade benefits - see above. British beef, lamb, anything anyone? Hmm thought not. However, we are an island that produces nowhere near enough consumer goods, food or natural resources to allow us to be independent, but if we were to join the Euro, our partners would give us preferential trade rates on these. Err, flaw here is that it is companies, not nations, who produce these.
Who will pay?
That one's easy. Me and You! The cost of joining the Euro will be colossal, even if it is introduced in stages. Just think for one minute, what changes will be needed - tills, cash points and banking facilities, signage, ticket machines at stations etc etc. You can bet your bottom Euro the companies involved will pass this on to you as a consumer.
What about countries who have already joined?
Hmm a poll conducted 5 months after Germany joines reported over 50% of Germans wanted it scrapped. Oh dear, why? I hear you cry - some examples:
A half litre of beer was 5 Marks (£1.50) it now costs 4.4 Euros (£2.60)
A kilo of cheese was 15.6 Marks (£4.50) it now costs 15.6 Euros (£9)
Carrots that were 1.9 Marks (60p) now cost 2 Euros (£1.20)
Not really surprising that they are somewhat unhappy is it?
What's your view then?? I hear someone shout from the back.
I, as you may have begun to realise (you clever Sherlocks, you!) feel we should not join the Euro. This not for any xenophobic reasons, nor through a particular sense of national pride, but for purely economic reasons. I cannot see the benefits for us as individuals, or as a nation in aligning our currency. I truly believe that when we do, we will live to regret the decision that will, at the end of the day, be made for us.
The point of the Euro is to make currency in Europe simpler by having one currency. This sounds like a good plan in theory because of the removed hassle of exchanging currency and the rates of exchange and so on. If you were travelling all over Europe, you'd have to exchange very often, and you could lose money from exchanging.
Most states in the European Union though have switched over to the Euro and has made things easier for a lot of people. France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, The Netherlands amongst other countries are using the Euro as the main currency.
Britain however has not made the switch over to the Euro. The debate about the Euro is that although it is simpler for people who would have needed to exchange currencies, it changes the economy of the country because the monetery system is dependant on other countries as well. Not only this but the British Pound is currently stronger.
The thing is, the pound is falling weaker and weaker. Three years ago I remember £1 being roughly 1.57 Euros, now it is more like 1.2 Euros. The argument that Britain should be unique and it's history make not mean so much if the Euro becomes stronger than the Pound.
I am against the euro, I simply like the fact we are unique to other foreign countries with our own set of currency, we are british and we reside on a small island which is increasingly expanding, but I think we should stay the same. Ever since the talk of this I have always been worried about the effects this will have on us, I believe the problems we are having with the economy at the moment have been causing by the government and their reckless waste of taxpayers money, which would have been better spent elsewhere. I do not think we should join the euro for a start the prices of our everyday goods will go up in price, as the currency exchange rates are always changing and buisnesses will not be able to accurately calculate these rates and charge more for goods because of this.
If we were to be a part of the european union we would be subject to scrutiny by the european parliment and their rules and regulations, we will be probably have to change our measurment sizing, the ingredients in products might have to change to conform to their standards, foods may also have to change, all this so we can be part of one big country.
I don't want the Euro here. It's simple. I don't want the UK to just become a small country in Europe with no power at all. The Pound keeps the UK fairly unique, especially when all the other countries jump at the chance of joining the Euro.
Sometimes part of the fun of going on holiday to Europe is using the Euro, and converting it and trying to figure out how much it would be in Sterling. And if we were to move to the Euro then this fun would be lost.
Sure it would make things slightly easier in the long term, but I feel that the Pound is part of being British. And we should try to keep the small things like using our own currency. And in a world where we are being told what to do by other Countries, it shows that we can still remain strong and unique.
The pound is stronger than the Euro, and until that changes - I don't think that it would be right for the economy to mess about with the currency. The Pound works, it always has and it always will. So for now, I don't think that the Euro would fit in with life in the UK.
The pound and the euro. The pound is truly British, and is something that makes us stand out from the rest of the world. The euro is the currency the EU wish to use to become a single market, and has become the currency of many European nations.
There has been debate as to whether Britain should switch from the pound to the euro, however there are many advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
~~ Advantages of switching to the Euro ~~
Firstly, the major advantage of switching to the euro is for UK firms who trade with other european nations. It means when ordering raw materials or buying in wholesale products, commission does not have to be paid, and over a long period of time trading this can become a very large amount that the firm could have saved.
Also, another advantage to firms is that they will no longer face consequences of fluctuating exchange rates. If there is a significant change in exchange rates between the pound and the euro, then firms can easily lose thousands of pounds by being forced to payment dates, as while the alue of the payment is still a fixed number of euros, if the pound weakens they end up paying more.
Also, consumers are more knowledgeable as to whether goods are reasonably priced or whether they are being ripped off in foreign countries, and while is nowhere near as significant as the above points, it is still an advantage to the euro.
~~ Advantages of the Pound ~~
Firstly, again from a business perspective, if the UK switched to the euro, new equipment has to be bought, for example tills that work alongside euros, and other additional costs, such as the cost of labels for all products and signs. This is a high additional cost to businesses, and may affect smaller businesses.
Also, the government would have all the hassle of printing new money and notes, and the duty of recycling all the other materials used to make pound coins and notes.
Secondly, sometimes exchange rates can be a good thing as floating exchange rates help even out regional differences in growth. For example if the UK economy was struggling, the pound would become weaker. Due to a weaker pound, two things happen.
1. Our exports appear cheaper abroad
2. Our imports look more expensive
Therefore UK businesses do better and as a result may be able to afford to employ more workers due to higher revenues and demand. This stimulates economic growth.
Finally, another major factor is the control of our economy. By converting to the euro, it would mean that the EU has control of interest rates that get set and what may be better generally across european countries may not be best for us.
~~ Conclusion ~~
Overall, there are advantages and disadvantages to both sides, however it may be more beneficial for the UK to remain with the pound.
Yes adopting the euro increased the cost of life of the other european countries only because THEIR RESPECTIVE CURRENCIES VALUE WAS INFERIOR TO THE EURO.So those who fear for an increase in the cost of life in Britain should stop worrying, i think the opposite will happen.British will then realize how much they are being ripped off. Using the same currency as the rest of Europe will make you realize the difference of price for any given good and the arbitrary inflation FOR NO REASON.
I think that we should never never agree to the euro.
Everywhere that you visit in europe that has gone over to the euro the prices have rocketed.
If you talk to people that rememember decimalization, they will gladly tell you that prices of everyday goods were all rounded up, making a huge difference to the cost of living for the average family.
When you talk to people in Greece and Spain they say the same thing.
In theory if you add a few cents to everything to round prices up imagine the difference that would make to your weekly food shopping, let alone our utility bills.
Also have you seen the confusion that some people especially some elderly people had with the new chip and pin cards ? i can only imagine how confusing the euro would be for them.
I can see no advantage to this at all, look at the state of Germanys ecomony at the moment, why would we want to follow ?
The only way that this should ever be considered is for the goverment to hold a national referendum, they must ask us before they decide. It would be totally wrong for them to go ahead without doing this.
From the point of view of simplicity, changing over to the Euro may seem like a good idea. In times past, travelling around Europe one had to change currency more often than your socks. This was a nightmare.
Now, most of those problems have gone in most member states.
However, this is not to suggest that the Euro is right for Britain. It did not take the Irish very long to realise they had jumped the gun a bit. If opinion polls are to be believed, the Irish want out of it already.
The truth is that Mr.Average is simply not qualified enough to KNOW what we should do. So the decision should be left to parliament. the economics of it are too deep.
I think the so called 'example' of a perfect European state is Luxembourg, or possibly Belgium...That worries me a BIT I must confess! God forbid we will end up like them!!
The Euro is the currency of twelve European Union countries, stretching from the Mediterranean to the Arctic Circle. Euro banknotes and coins have been in circulation since 1 January 2002 and are now a part of daily life for over 300 million Europeans living in the euro area. But what do we mean when we talk about the Euro. As we all know a coin or a note was no value in itself, no real useful value and is really a promissory token of credit that can be redeemed for goods or services to the value stated. This is true of all money in the modern age and becomes obvious when you read the small print on a pound note, which states I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of
So money is really a credit note, like an impersonalised cheque, which is swapped for anything you need to the value stated. So if the Euro is note in itself the issue what is?
The Euro represents a multi-national union, an idea that has grown in power since the Second World War. Having its birth in the Bretton Woods system, which was designed to create economic stability following the upheavals of the Second World War, the idea of a united Europe has always seemed like a solution to many of the problems of the fractious nature of Europe. Through out the seventies and eighties the blueprint for an European Monetary System evolved and various continental nations signed up to be part of the system that would ensure borderless economies, peace and stability through out the land.
But the economic harmony that the single monetary system heralded is still being sought. The system of integration of countries into a European Union is a long way off yet. There is a historical argument that Europe of the past, well at least Western Europe, has been subject to dominance by a single regime, namely the Roman Empire and to a lesser degree the vast empire of Charlemagne. The difference is in these past times the sense of national identity of the subjects was much less than it is today and it was a time when one nation could exert its will on another through sheer aggression. These days are largely gone and today such empires are the creation of politicians. And that is where things begin to go wrong. With the personal allegiance of most politicians being more firmly rooted in personal gain than public service a potentially good idea has no chance of getting off of the ground in the near future. Many nations would rather keep control of their own identity; and the obvious symbols of a country are its coinage and its flag, both of which are lost, rather than give them up to a system that has yet to prove itself to have much worth. The old idea of the Common Market as it was first called in the sixties, the major selling point of a unbounded and single currency driven economic system seems further from reality than ever as duties soar and taxes spiral upwards. Even the big supporters of the idea namely Germany and France seem less convinced than ever that the system works. Poorer countries joining the system have everything to gain by joining the system as it works towards a common denominator that is above their current status, but the better off countries play the other side of the balance and find that initially at least they have a lot to give up. Okay in theory, maybe some sort of economic karma that we have had coming, but when its all about the pound, should I say, Euro in your pocket, who amongst us is that generous.
Countries that have changed over have not yet been rewarded with any major improvements to their life; many far from it as the control of their individual national policies are hijacked by the nameless, faceless, watchers that parade the carpeted corridors of Brussels. As you may be able to tell, I am not convinced that it is a move that we should be making, but Im afraid the will of the people is not going to be taken into account on this issue. As the present government has proved beyond doubt, this democratically elected group are only prepared to put the decision in the hands of one man, Tony Blair, a man that in the next week or so will in all likelihood be questioned over his involvement in selling peerages to his loyal friends. Not the man that I would trust to make an impartial decision on my behalf.