HL Deb 18 March 1975 vol 358 c630

The Manifesto commitment is as follows: 'We would reject any kind of inter-national agreement which compelled us to accept increased unemployment for the sake of maintaining a fixed parity … We believe that the monetary problems of the European countries can be resolved only in a worldwide framework'.

"Since that commitment was made there has been a major change in the attitude of other European Governments to the practicability of achieving EMU by 1980. As a long-term objective it was restated in the Paris communiqué but for all practical purposes it has been tacitly abandoned. For example, the second stage due to start on 1st January 1974, 15 months ago, has never been adopted and practical work has been virtually at a standstill for a long time.

"There is no prospect of our coming under pressure to agree to an arrangement, whether in relation to parity commitments or otherwise, threatening the level of employment in Britain. As for EMU remaining as a long-term Community objective, its realisation in the foreseeable future is as likely as the ideal of General and Complete Disarmament, which we all support and assert.

"Objective Four

Our Election Manifesto of February 1974 stated our objective as: The retention by Parliament of those powers over the British economy needed to pursue regional, industrial and fiscal policies".