"Blair Keeps Alive Hopes of Early Euro Referendum"

By Whelan, Charlie | New Statesman (1996), June 16, 2003 | Go to article overview

"Blair Keeps Alive Hopes of Early Euro Referendum"


Whelan, Charlie, New Statesman (1996)


Like me, most of them will have heard Balls brilliantly articulate the case against Britain joining the euro. And his views are similar to Brown's, so most journalists didn't believe a word he said at the briefing. This did not stop some of them writing it. I overheard one political editor tell his newsdesk that the briefing was "complete bollocks". But as it fitted in with that paper's line on Europe, so it became fact. What was more surprising was that the Sun seemed to have swallowed this rubbish. It claimed that Brown had been forced to back down over the euro by Blair. Ha! Ha!

When Gordon Brown's chief economic adviser, Ed Balls, gave his post-speech briefing to the lobby hacks after his boss had sat down, there were audible giggles as he tried to convince them of the possibility of a referendum this side of an election.

The best bit of the euro statement came with the Brown-Blair press conference. …

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