Saturday 31 January 2009

UK Euro watch - January 2009

The BBC had several stories in the first half of January regarding possible UK entry to European Economic and Monetary Union, and then went strangely quiet on the subject.

The most significant contributions came on 15 Jan in a document containing 31 essays, one from Prof. Willem Buiter, of the LSE, ex Monetary Policy Committee member, reported here by Bloomberg: Buiter Joins Drive to Persuade U.K. to Adopt the Euro Currency.

The full document can be downloaded from the LSE site: 10 Years of the Euro: New Perspectives for Britain

Here are some of those stories from the BBC in January:

01 Jan: Most Britons 'still oppose euro' BBC poll reveals that just 23% would vote 'Yes'

01 Jan: Discussion on Today programme Slovakia joins the euro today, will the UK join any time soon? Ruth Lee, economic adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group, and Mark Leonard, executive director of the European Council on Foreign Relations

02 Jan: Should Britain join euro? The public comments on the BBC's poll

03 Jan: Beyond Westminster on Radio 4. Elinor Goodman discovers what membership of the euro might mean for jobs and prices in the UK. The panel included views from all parts of the debating spectrum.

03 Jan: Village offers euro for the pound to attract tourists, a hotel and some other business in Dunster accept euros with one-for-one price conversion

04 Jan: Salmond in call for euro rethink Scottish First Minister claimed there was a strong argument in favour of the euro, particularly as sterling declined.

11 Jan: The Westminster Hour Norman Smith interviews the deputy leader of Labour's MEPs Richard Corbett and the Tory MEP Daniel Hannan.

12 Jan: The next enlargement - Iceland? Mark Mardell's Euroblog - Iceland has eurosceptics just like the UK

15 Jan: Renewed calls for UK to join euro Former EU commissioner Peter Sutherland says everyone else is clammering to join the euro and Britain should follow suit.

Another euro story on the Today programme of 15 Jan: ECB to lower interest rates Neil McKinnon, chief economist at ECU Group, discusses the problems of fitting one interest rate to 16 countries (especially the PIGS countries: Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain). Will Greece have to leave EMU?

Mark Mardell reported on Greek protests on 29 Jan, and commented about the relevance of these to UK membership: Euro blamed for recession. He also had interesting things to say on the BBC's The Reporters blog site: The euro - safety net or straitjacket? (30 Jan)