Chancellor sticks by five tests for euro entry

Link: Exclusive: FD euro survey

Clearly indicating that his famous five economic tests remained the touchstones of the government’s decision on whether to call a referendum on the issue, he said the public could, in the right circumstances, be persuaded of the benefits of scrapping the pound.

The chancellor also pledged to fight any moves towards tax harmonisation in the European Union.

His speech to the Bournemouth gathering was notably more pro-Europe and Euro-centric than usual.

Brown said: ‘We will show the British National interest is best advanced as active partners in Europe – not Britain versus Europe but Britain part of Europe – promoting economic reform in opposition to tax harmonisation and reform in the stability pact.

‘And rather than allowing Europe and America to look inwards and stand apart we will promote a new transatlantic economic partnership as we seek a strong pro-European, pro-Atlantic consensus in Britain.

‘And we will demonstrate to the public the benefits of the euro if we can achieve sustainable and durable convergence with the Euro area and as we campaign on Europe throughout Britain, we will take on Tory anti-European myths and prejudices.’

Brown also pledged to ‘tackle the waste of the Common Agricultural Policy and the scandal of agricultural protectionism around the world’ in the wake of the collapse of the Cancun world trade talks.

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