February 20, 2003


European clash over UK spending plans (George Parker, February 18 2003, Financial Times)
Gordon Brown, UK finance minister, on Tuesday clashed with EU colleagues over his spending plans, providing more ammunition for British opponents of joining the euro.

Some ministers implied Mr Brown should raise taxes or trim his programme to rebuild Britain's public services, because he risked breaching the EU's budget rules. The chancellor left the meeting early. His aides made it clear he had no intention of heeding the warnings.

Opponents of the euro are likely to use the dispute as proof that Britain's fiscal room for manoeuvre could be limited inside the single currency zone.

Even if the economics are dubious, the politics are good. Anything that keeps Britain out of the EU is helpful. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2003 9:06 AM

Britain is already a member of the EU.

Posted by: George Peery at February 20, 2003 11:58 AM

Yes, we must get them out before they integrate fully.

Posted by: oj at February 20, 2003 1:20 PM

OJ - agree. I think once the country gives up its currency and central bank system its hard to get back out of the EU. So once Britain agrees to give up the pound its done for.

On a related note I've been getting the coins of the pre-EU countries (i.e. Spain, Italy) from the US Postal Service (also getting the 50 US state quarters). The Postal service also has a coins of the current EU which I haven't gone for yet. If things keep blowing up the EU coins may be more rare than the pre-EU coins.

Posted by: AWW at February 20, 2003 2:04 PM