§ Lord Barnett
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will make an announcement on euro preparations. [HL5424]
§ Lord McIntosh of Haringey
As the Chancellor made clear in his Mansion House speech in June 2002, the Government's decision on the euro is of immense, historic importance to the long-term future of our economy and our country as a whole. In 1997 the Government set out the case in principle for the single currency, and said that the determining factor underpinning any government decision on membership is the national economic interest, and whether the economic case is clear and unambiguous.
As part of our commitment to prepare and decide, the Government are continuing work on EMU preparations—in partnership with business—to ensure that the UK has a genuine option to join the euro if that is what government, Parliament and the people, in a referendum, decide.
The Government are today depositing in the Library of the House a copy of the Sixth Progress Report on Euro Preparations. The report describes the changeover to the euro in the euro area and sets out lessons from the euro area changeover. It also sets out what government and partners are doing to raise awareness of the potential impact on UK businesses and gives an update on plannning for possible UK entry.
Alongside the Sixth Progress Report on Euro Preparations, we are also depositing a report on the changeover in the euro area which was commissioned by the Standing Committee from the Private Sector Learning Group.