IN just over six months time we will be cashing in our pesetas for euros. The French, the Germans, the Italians will be doing exactly the same. Meanwhile, in Britain the word euro is taboo. I was impressed with Tony Blair's speech in Manchester on Thursday night but I would have been even more impressed if he had mentioned that unspoken word. “Wait and see”, “we will join when the economic factors are correct.” I have been hearing the “wait and see” slogan for as long as I can remember and the economic factors have got to be right because Britain has the fourth largest economy in the world and our growth forecasts are much better than our European counterparts. The British electorate is being treated like children. There is no debate on the single currency, and the much promised referendum is just rolled out when the going gets tough. This ridiculous state of affairs was made even worse when I read that the Blair government was planning to combine the euro with more public holidays. In other words, we ditch the pound, but don't worry you will have more free time like they do on the continent. The euro, as far as I am concerned, is one of the biggest issues facing Britain at the moment. Let us have a serious debate. How can you have faith in Britain, as Blair pleads, when our politicians are not even capable of discussing one of the greatest issues of the last two decades. We can't have a debate because our politicians are probably even more divided than we are. Probably the only debate on the euro for Tony Blair this year will be when he gets his hotel bill in Tuscany this summer and he tries to work out how much it is to the pound.

Jason Moore

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