28th Feb 2020

Blair has not ruled out early euro referendum

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has not ruled out a euro referendum before the next general election - expected in 2005. Both pro and anti-euro campaigners, however, believe that the chances for an early referendum on the single currency have disappeared.

Sweden's decision to reject the euro will not influence on British debate, Mr Blair told the BBC's Breakfast with Frost programme.

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"I don't see any point, irrespective of what happens in Sweden, in ruling anything out", said the Prime Minister on Sunday (28 September).

"Let's keep our options open, that's what we'll do", Mr Blair said ahead of the Labour Party's annual conference in Bournemouth, which begins today (29 September).

Mr Blair's comments come at a time when the leaders of the anti-euro No campaign have announced they will be stepping down by the end of the year.

The Director of the pro-euro campaign Britain in Europe, Simon Buckby, has also announced his resignation.

When to re-run tests?

The co-Directors of the 'no' campaign, George Eustice and Janet Bush, said in a statement that they are leaving the campaign because there is no "realistic prospect of a referendum during this parliament". The current Director of communications, Matthew McGregor, will take over.

In June British Chancellor Gordon Brown delivered his verdict on the five economic tests, saying that the tests had not been passed. Mr Brown promised to examine the situation early in 2004 to decide whether or not to re-run the tests.

No breakthrough at EU budget summit

EU leaders failed to reach agreement on the EU's long-term budget, as richer states and poorer 'cohesion countries' locked horns. The impasse continues over how to fund the Brexit gap.

EU leaders struggling to break budget deadlock

Cuts to innovation, space, neighbourhood and other programme-spending push down the latest budget proposal on the table of EU leaders. Rebates could stay on, to win the support of the net-payers for a deal.

Unhappy EU leaders begin budget haggle

EU leaders arriving at the Brussels summit criticised the budget proposal of EU Council president Charles Michel, as richer member states insisted holding onto their rebates, while poorer countries wanted to avoid deep cuts to their subsidies.

Vietnam sent champagne to MEPs ahead of trade vote

A trade deal with Vietnam sailed through the European Parliament's international trade committee and after its embassy sent MEPs bottles of Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne over Christmas.


Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

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