It could take years and people “will grumble”, but the UK “will be a member of the Euro”, according to a local politician who’s tipped to be President of the European Parliament.
Liberal Democrats MEP Graham Watson says he is:
“convinced that in years to come the UK will be a member of the Euro but I think that it will do what it normally does, it will join late and it will grumble about it and it will join on conditions that are perhaps not the best it could have got if it had joined at the beginning but it will work”.
While 16 of the 27 EU member states currently use the Euro, the UK and Denmark agreed an ‘opt-out’ clause when the currency was setup, which exempts them from joining at the moment.
Mr Watson says the UK’s decision not to join yet has been influenced by its geographic location on the edge of Europe:
“I think the impact of 20 miles of water over 2000 years of history has changed the way we look at things.”
With the expansion of the European Union, he thinks its various bodies need to improve their methods of communications so more people understand how Europe affects their lives.
“The contours of globalisation are being drawn in the computer campuses of West Coast America, in the call centres of India, in the factories of China - you know the need for solidarity among 500 million Europeans in a world of nearly 6.5 billion people is greater than ever.”