Mr. Michael Howard (Folkestone and Hythe):

9 Jun 2003 : Column 417


“The Chancellor predicted that trade with the European Union could grow by as much as 50 per cent. over 30 years. Will he confirm that his own Department's reports conclude that improved levels of trade are totally dependent on sustained convergence, which has not been achieved? Will he confirm that other economists have challenged his conclusion in the academic studies published today by the Treasury? Will he confirm that the author of one report that supports his assertion points out:

"any extrapolation of my results to EMU may be inappropriate since most currency union observations are for countries unlike those inside euroland"?


Will he confirm that that so-called expert's assumptions, on which the Chancellor relies, are based on studies of currency unions involving Angola and Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Chad, Vatican City and San Marino, and Tuvalu and Tonga? The Prime Minister is obviously surprised by that. It is one of the reports that he had not got around to reading.”


Extracted from Hansard: