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Learn the lessons of the euro crisis, says MEP

Thursday, 25th November 2010

An East Midlands MEP has called for lessons to be learned from the current euro débâcle.

Tory Roger Helmer has expressed his concern that many who wanted Britain to join the euro have failed to face up to their error, and some are still holding important positions -- not least Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who apparently still believes that the UK should give up the Pound Sterling “when the time is right”. The current crisis proves that there never was, and never will be, a “right time”, says Helmer.

Recognising that the euro itself did not bring about the current global recession, which he says was caused by policy errors made by politicians and central bankers, exacerbated by unwise lending decisions from commercial banks, Helmer nonetheless argues that euro membership has denied Greece, Ireland and Portugal the exchange rate flexibility which could have offered them a solution.

He contrasts that with the situation of Iceland, which despite an appalling financial collapse two years ago is now showing some signs of recovery following a major devaluation of the Icelandic Krona.

Helmer recalls that he, and other eurosceptics, have argued for years that a single currency shared between widely disparate economies was unsustainable, and that the current crisis is exactly what they have predicted for years. “George Osborne is right when he says that ‘I told you so’ is not an economic policy”, says Helmer, “But it is essential we learn the lessons of this euro disaster, and never again listen to those who want to scrap the Pound”.

And he has issued a challenge to his former fellow-Conservative (now Lib-Dem) East Midlands MEP Bill Newton Dunn. “Bill has always been a passionate supporter of euro membership. Will he now admit that he got it wrong, and that Britain is right to keep the Pound?”