It's been often touted but now it's definite: the UK will not join the Euro single currency during this government (and probably never will after that).
This was confirmed today as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne
announced during his emergency budget
that the Euro Preparation Unit
(EPU) will be abolished.
The unit, within the confines of the Treasury, was set up following the last review of the Five Economic Tests
in June 2003, as part of the policy of “prepare and decide
” in light of the second review.
The Government, then under the leadership of Gordon Brown
, was committed to ensure the UK retained a genuine option to join the single currency if that is what the Government, Parliament and the people, in a referendum, decide, so established the EPU. It worked with stakeholders and county authorities from around the country and across the economy to ensure that every upgrade or replacement of IT systems at the Treasury was 'Euro compatible'.
While it was greeted with cheers from the Conservative benches, many of the Liberal Democrats were visibly disappointed and rueful of the announcement as they sat listening to it in the Chamber.
Effectively this has more than shelved plans to adopt the Euro - even indefinitely.
Should the government ever decide it would be economically viable to join the single currency, it would have to start the process all over again...