Magazine article The Spectator

The Ground Shifts,-Now It's Wait and See and, Barring Accidents, Join

Magazine article The Spectator

The Ground Shifts,-Now It's Wait and See and, Barring Accidents, Join

Article excerpt

TONY BLAIR can make the faithful believe most things. No change, he told his party conference, about the single currency for Europe: when the time came his government would make a hard choice, in the national interest. For a moment he sounded just like John Major, but even the most credulous must realise that this week the ground has shifted. He and his government have moved from a policy of wait and see to an attitude of wait and, barring accidents, join. Indeed, we have been here before. We would pledge our currency to Europe, so I forecast, in the week after the International Monetary Fund's meeting, in the week before the Conservatives' conference and in the middle of Labour's. So it proved. Margaret Thatcher popped out from 10 Downing Street like a cuckoo from a clock to proclaim that the pound had joined the European exchange rate mechanism. …

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