§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Prime Minister what considerations underlie his decision to hold open the possibility of the United Kingdom accepting a single currency in the future. 1243W
§ The Prime Minister
I believe that we should judge whether or not to join a single currency on the basis of our national interest, given the circumstances of the time. We do not know what those future circumstances might be. It is therefore too early for us to make a decision one way or the other. Furthermore, as I told the House on 28 June,Official Report, columns 893–94, I believe that it is essential for this country to participate fully in the debate over economic and monetary union, to make our practical views count and to stand up for our interests in Europe. We would forfeit our influence over the debate if we exercised our opt-out now. That would not be in our interests.