Wednesday

21st Oct 2020

UK ministers reach agreement on euro issue

After a long meeting yesterday, 5 June, British cabinet ministers finally came to an agreement on whether (or when) Britain should join the single currency, although their decision will not be made public until Monday.

According to the BBC, the cabinet ministers accepted the chancellor Gordon Brown 's recommendation that, economically, the time was not right for Britain to join the euro.

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At the same time, a bill allowing the government to call a euro referendum, was agreed to be published this autumn. The bill was proposed yesterday by British prime minister, Tony Blair. Mr Brown did not oppose the idea, writes the Independent.

UK serious about euro?

This bill does not commit the government to a timescale for the referendum, neither was it decided when it will be pushed through Parliament. It could be seen as a face-saving move to cover the prime minister's failure and show Europe that Britain is serious about joining the single currency.

Mr Brown and the Prime Minister's official spokesman both stressed that the euro decision will be made in the national economic interest.

Test not met

"We are all resolved that the decision on the euro must be taken in the national economic interest, and it will be the national economic interest that will be the determining factor", Mr Brown said to the BBC.

Mr Brown is expected to say on Monday that Britain is not yet ready to join the single currency as all five economic tests have not been met. However, the big question still is whether he will leave the prime minister with an opportunity to have the referendum before the next general elections in 2005 or 2006.

Germany asks capitals to give a little in EU budget impasse

European Parliament negotiators are demanding €39bn in new funding for EU programmes such as Horizon research and Erasmus, in talks with the German EU presidency on the budget. Meanwhile, rule-of-law enforcement negotiations have only just begun.

EU budget talks suspended in fight for new funds

MEPs are requesting additional, new funding of €39bn for 15 EU programs. The German presidency argues that budget ceilings, agreed by EU leaders at a marathon summit in July, will be impossible to change without a new leaders' meeting.

EU countries stuck on rule of law-budget link

Divisions among EU governments remain between those who want to suspend EU funds if rule of law is not respected, and those who want to narrow down conditionality.

MEPs warn of 'significant gaps' in budget talks

The budget committee chair said the European Parliament expects tangible improvements to the package in its talks with member states - while the German minister argued that the EU leaders' deal was difficult enough.

Top EU officials urge MEPs give quick budget-deal approval

MEPs criticised the EU deal on the budget and recovery package clinched by leaders after five days of gruelling talks, saying it is not enough "future-oriented", and cuts too deeply into EU policies, including health, innovation, defence and humanitarian aid

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