§ 13. Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on what deutschmark/sterling exchange rate he would treat as appropriate to join the exchange rate mechanism of the European monetary system and as to what other considerations would affect his decision.
§ Mr. Lawson
I refer the hon. Member to the statement by the Prime Minister to the House on 29 June on the outcome of last week's European Council in Madrid.
§ Mr. Bruce
That statement showed that the Prime Minister took the view that we should not join the exchange rate mechanism until the completion of the single market, which is likely to be well after 1992. Does that mean that business and industry must wait another 10 years before the time is right?
§ Mr. Lawson
The hon. Gentleman will have to wait and see. My right hon. Friend reaffirmed our commitment to join the exchange rate mechanism of the EMS but said that first inflation would have to come down and that there would have to be satisfactory progress on other measures involved in stage one of the Delors programme, including in particular the abolition of exchange controls. We in this country have been working for that for a long time, and got an agreed directive last year.