§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (Mr. Christopher Leslie)
I have today published, as Cm 6081, a draft Single European Currency (Referendum) Bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave a commitment to Parliament in June 2003 that a draft Bill would be published later this year.
This draft Bill sets out the Government's thinking on the terms on which any referendum on the European single currency would be held, subject to the five economic tests being met. This shows the Government's commitment to openness and transparency. Both the question and who would he able to vote in any referendum, if the five economic tests had been met, are set out in the draft Bill.
The Government will report on progress of its reform agenda in the Budget next year. The Government can then consider the extent of progress and determine whether on the basis of it the Government makes a further Treasury assessment of the five tests, which—if positive next year—would allow it at that time to put the issue before the electorate in a referendum.