Steady Says Eddie; Bank of England Chief Fears Being `Bulldozed' into a Single Currency

Daily Mail (London), May 1, 1996 | Go to article overview

Steady Says Eddie; Bank of England Chief Fears Being `Bulldozed' into a Single Currency


EDDIE George joined the growing band of Euro-sceptics yesterday as he expressed fears over a single currency.

The Bank of England Governor questioned the way German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and other leading European Union politicians were trying to `bulldoze' Britain into monetary union.

Mr George, dubbed Steady Eddie because of his unflappable hand on the nation's financial tiller, warned that the UK should only sign up if and when it looked like a `safe' club.

The day after John Major declared that the country's current mood was to deliver a resounding `No' to a single currency, Mr George underscored the concerns of Tory MPs and an increasing number of voters.

He warned of the high-risk of joining monetary union when most EU states were nowhere near the so-called `convergence' criteria critical to make it work.

It was very difficult to know whether countries had converged sufficiently to be on an even keel with each other, Mr George declared in an interview with Jimmy Young on Radio 2.

With the Prime Minister equally adamant that the case for economic union had still to be made out, Mr George went on: `I am nervous about that, yes.'

The Govenor emphasised that decisions on Britain's relations and links with Europe had to be made by elected politicians, not appointed officials like himself.

He was clearly not prepared to allow the UK to be dragged unwillingly into the single currency club apparently favoured by Chancellor Kenneth Clarke. …

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