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1993 - Mr Major’s Comments on a Single European Currency

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on a single European Currency, made in an interview on Friday 19th March 1993.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked where Europe would be in 2001].

PRIME MINISTER:

There is no particular target of what might be done by 2011 but I think some things are clearly evidence. We will have a bigger, wider, freer trade area than we have got at present; I think that is undoubted. I hope the EFTAn nations will all securely be members of the Community by then and I would hope by then we will be on the brink of some of the Central and East Europeans joining.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he thought a Central European Bank would be operating by 2001].

PRIME MINISTER:

Apart from the political difficulties and as you know there many of those, the key difficulty of course is what will happen to the economies across Europe. There is no attractiveness in a single currency for anyone however enthusiastic they may be about it unless you have the right sort of economic convergence between now and the date at which it comes about. In the last couple of years, that convergence hasn’t proceeded; if anything, there has been divergence rather than convergence so there is a great deal to be done economically before that can come about and I stress the importance of that because if anyone were reckless enough to move to a single currency without the right sort of economic convergence, I believe you’d have structural unemployment and huge difficulties in many parts of Europe.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if the final result would be the same, but just taking longer than the planned time-scale].

PRIME MINISTER:

The time-scale I think is beginning to look unrealistic. I think that is certainly true but there are many other difficulties to be solved.