UK Politics

Lord Heseltine says UK will join the euro

Conservative peer and former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has told the BBC that he thinks the UK will join the euro "if it survives".

The pro-European politician, recently appointed as a government adviser, told the Daily Politics Britain had "failed" to resist European integration.

Lord Heseltine said European countries would "cling on" to the euro.

The eurozone faced a "crisis" but he said it was a "very Eurosceptic view" to see the euro as a "failed project".

Asked if he thought the UK would adopt the single currency, he said: "If it survives, and my guess is it will survive, my guess is in the future - it won't be this week or next week or next year - we will do so, because the whole process of Europeanisation we have resisted and we have failed at every turn.

"If you look at the history of it, we were asked to lead it and we refused."

The peer served as a cabinet minister in the 1980s before resigning and later challenging Margaret Thatcher for the Conservative leadership - a challenge that triggered the end of her premiership in 1990.

Lord Heseltine, who was also deputy prime minister during the latter part of John Major's time in Downing Street, said: "Every time we've had these arguments... it's always turned out to be unworkable from our point of view."

David Cameron said last December there was "absolutely no prospect of joining the euro" while he was prime minister.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, whose Lib Dems are the most pro-European of the three largest UK parties, said in September he thought it was very unlikely that "we will see this country entering the euro during my political lifetime".

Labour leader Ed Miliband told the BBC last year he thought joining the euro would be "very, very unlikely... I don't think it's going to happen... I can't see it in the foreseeable future".

More on this story