Tories Rail against Europe in Elections

Article excerpt

BRITISH voters will today cast their votes in the elections for the European Parliament after a campaign which has centred on the UK's role within the EU and the future of the pound.

The Conservative leader William Hague has challenged the electorate to send the government a clear message that they do not want the European single currency.

Voting Conservative would be to ''tell the doom merchants that we can change the European Union and its priorities, that we can defend the role of the nation state and build a wider free enterprise Europe'', said Mr Hague.

It would also be a message that: ''We can keep the pound - that we do have a choice; that as the world's fifth largest economy, we can make a success of our own currency.'' But the Prime Minister Tony Blair has insisted that the poll is not a referendum on the euro, and warned the Tories were bent on divorcing Britain from the European Union.

Mr Blair claimed the Tories' stance on a single currency would damage British jobs, industry and investment, and leave Britain without power and influence in Europe. …