UK will ultimately join euro says Lord Heseltine

 
Lord Heseltine Lord Heseltine is an adviser to David Cameron on economic regeneration

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Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine has said he still expects the UK to eventually join the euro.

The Conservative peer, one of his party's most pro-European figures, said the eurozone had real problems but he hoped it would survive as its collapse would be "catastrophic" for the UK.

All three of the largest Westminster parties have ruled out joining the euro in the foreseeable future.

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said the eurozone was "failing".

Prime Minister David Cameron has faced opposition to his European policies within Conservative ranks, with more than 80 MPs defying the government and calling for a referendum on EU membership.

'Hell of a problem'

Many other backbenchers are calling on the PM to use the current financial instability, and talk of closer integration among countries using the single currency, to renegotiate the UK's relationship.

As one of the party's most staunch pro-European voices, Lord Heseltine has argued that all UK prime ministers have found themselves presiding over a deeper relationship between the UK and Europe.

Start Quote

Being like Norway would be a very good holding position for the UK”

End Quote UKIP leader Nigel Farage

Asked by the BBC's Politics Show if he still felt the UK would ultimately join the single currency, he replied: "I think we will join the euro."

He acknowledged that the eurozone was in crisis but said he believed it would endure, largely due to the determination of Germany and France to preserve its "cohesiveness".

"I think the chances, and it is a balance, are that the euro will survive.

"They (Germany and France) have got a hell of a problem, let's be frank about that, but my guess is that they will find a way through.

"I hope they will because the downside for the British economy of the eurozone going under is catastrophic. People have no idea of the scale of money British banks are owed by European banks."

He said European co-operation since the 1950s had been "remarkably successful".

But UKIP leader Mr Farage said the installation of technocratic governments in Italy and Greece was bad for democracy and meant European institutions were even more remote from the people.

"Those Mediterranean countries need to leave the eurozone," Mr Farage told the same BBC programme. "Those countries are in the wrong currency. The whole thing is failing. It is going to break up."

'German dominance'

Germany had become "totally dominant" in Europe, he claimed, after Chancellor Angela Merkel had "stepped into the breach" left by a vacuum of leadership in Brussels.

He suggested that the UK should model itself on Norway which - by remaining outside of the EU - had control over farming and fisheries policies and was not bound by policies on justice and home affairs.

"Being like Norway would be a very good holding position for the UK," he said.

"It would guarantee us free trade and give us a chance to negotiate a deal, like Switzerland has, where they don't have to have any of the rules."

The PM has said leaving the EU and negotiating trade agreements would leave the UK in the worst of all positions where it would still be bound by many EU rules but unable to influence its decisions.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 486.

    Eventually we will all use the same currency globally. So we can trade with extra terrestrial beings. This could be some time away however. Embrace the change guys.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 485.

    Political, Social, and Monetary unions have been proven time and time again to be an utter failure. There are a number of bodies and individuals that think the US will not survive as as a union of states.

    Of course, all of this is just Keynesian stupidity catching on and reaching epidemic proportions. Heseltine is just another crank and a failed middle order leader.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 484.

    For the Euro to work the countries in it have to see themselves not as competing nations but as regions of a single political entity. But this isn't how its working is it. Germany is not prepared to rescue other countries because its own electors wont stand for it. Then there's the inability of some of the Euro zone countries to comply with their treaty obligations. The Euro cannot work.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 483.

    EU has had more conflict & wars than any other continent, now in just a few moments we all have to get in bed with each other ?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 482.

    Did the knee jerk Daily Mail readers on here actually listen to Heseltine? He spoke with far more authority and wisdom than Farage ever could. This isn't about giving up culture or sovereigny but building prosperity in a 21st century global economy. Many of you need to stop looking beyond the end of your noses and look at the broader world around you. We need to be involved in shaping a strong EU.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 481.

    I take everyones comments but if the euro is doing so badly why, when we joined we were at 1.5 euros to the pound and now we are only at about 1.12 to 1.15

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 480.

    European politicians are facilitating a seed change as to how and whom countries are governed by.
    We now have three ex employees, of a certain financial institution, running two countries,and the ECB. Not a vote has been cast to bring about this change.
    Are the politicians complicit or being naive in their actions? Either way I want no part of it.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 479.

    Reading the comments on here it is clear that people base their opinions on sentiment rather than an understanding of global economics, which is understandable but doesn't really help. Reading German and French forums, it is equally clear that most of our EU neighbours are much better informed, which puts them in a better position to deal with their current governments.

  • Comment number 478.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 477.

    The political system currently running things in Europe is a form of Privatised Communism or Liberalised Corporate fascism, depending on how you want to look at it.

    It's a system which will inevitably collapse under the weight of its own corruption and nepotism

    The way we do democracy has to change, so these fools can never threaten our families again.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 476.

    If the Euro collapsed then sure this is bad for the UK. But that doesnt mean the members states of the Euro,even if they reverted back to their own currencies means they will be producing 0 GDP and trade, they will pick up quickly as they have infrastructure already in place. Bankers will quickly pick up the financial side. Afterall, proping up the euro is already costing Billions, soon Trillions!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 475.

    #468 max_normal

    "We are being forced into the Euro by Merkel and Sarkozy."

    -- No -- more likely out of the EU.

    You must be relieved ?

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 474.

    He's a Lord, and an idiot, albeit a well spoken idiot!

    I am neither, but I can easily see that the more we distance ourselves from the collapse of the Euro the better.

    I wonder why Lord Heseltine can't see this?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 473.

    We are European in this country - always have been. We MUST be part of a Europe getting it self ready for the rest of the 21st century, not putting up artificial walls and sticking our fingers in our ears.

    Despite the current mess, Europe has the chance to be a very strong economic power (in fact, it is, even with the mess).

    It beggers belief that some cannot bear to be part of that future.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 472.

    57.
    Diddy-Da

    "We could then have an unelected Eurocrat in charge to show us how we should really be running our economy."
    ---
    Do you believe someone elected runs our economy? Who is it?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 471.

    Not in my lifetime I sincerely hope. Get out of EU would be more help.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 470.

    I was gonna have a point but can't really be bothered....we should just get out of this crap and stand up for ourselves!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 469.

    Lord Hestletine is out of touch with the current mood of the country and still bashing the EU gravy train drum for his cohorts own ends. It would be political suicide if the Conservatives joined the Euro on our behalf, since a referendum would not happen it wouldnt be a democratic decision. I really think its time we moved on as a country from old 1980s politics and politicians,they had their time

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 468.

    We are being forced into the Euro by Merkel and Sarkozy. Remember the new meetings for Eurozone members only? The Eurozone is pulling tighter together, it must to prevent this crisis from occuring again. We are outside of this so they are threatening to take European banking (one of our major industries) out of London, probably to Frankfurt. We are being blackmailed and we WILL join the Euro.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 467.

    As a pro-EU guy, I have to say that the prospects for the Euro doesn't look good. Letting in countries like Greece was the mistake - the single currency would have worked if all the countries had similar economies.

    As for the UK leaving the EU but staying in the EEA like Norway, this would be even worse. We'd have to implement EU legislation but we wouldn't have any influence in their creation.

 

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