HC Deb 04 March 1999 vol 326 cc858-9W
16. Sir Michael Spicer

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the Government's policy with respect to the exchange rate between sterling and the euro. [72428]

Ms Hewitt

The Government's policy is for a stable and competitive sterling-euro exchange rate over the medium term, consistent with the objective of price stability.

26. Mr. Gapes

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on preparations for eventual British membership of the eurozone. [72441]

Ms Hewitt

I refer my hon. Friend to the oral statement given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 23 February 1999,Official Report, columns 179–84.

27. Mrs. Ellman

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he has taken to help business adjust to the introduction of the euro. [72442]

Ms Hewitt

The Treasury has run a major information and direct mail campaign for the 1.6 million small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with a business telephone line. We have established twelve regional euro forums to take forward preparations at a local level. Firms can now also pay taxes, file accounts, issue and redenominate shares and receive certain grants in euro.

The Government's business information campaign was highly successful and resulted in over 350,000 copies of the Treasury's business factsheets being requested by UK firms and intermediaries. In addition, three quarters of a million factsheet leaflets have been requested and there have been three and a half million "hits" on our euro website.

Mr. Mitchell

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with(a) the EU Commission and (b) the Council of Ministers about how the rate of entry for sterling joining the euro will be fixed. [74130]

Ms Hewitt

The procedure for adopting the exchange rate at which sterling would be fixed irrevocably against the euro, should the UK decide to join the single currency, is set out in Article 109L(5) of the Treaty.

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