§ Mr. Marlow
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his oral statement of 3 December,Official Report, column 797, if article 3 of the convergence criteria of the treaty of European union is operating. 
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
[holding answer 9 December 1996]: Article 3 of protocol No. 6 on the convergence criteria still forms part of the EC treaty, although its interpretation is uncertain because the operation of the exchange rate mechanism has changed considerably since Maastricht. The interpretation of the criterion will be considered by Heads of Government when they meet to decide which member states satisfy the necessary conditions for the adoption of a single currency. These decisions will be taken in early 1998 at the earliest.