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Prodi makes UK euro appeal

26/06/2003 13:35
The president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, said yesterday (25 June) that the UK government's decision on the euro had disappointed him and was a signal of deep political problems.

"I don't know if it is wisdom, or lack of courage, but I do hope that the decision will come soon because the UK cannot be half in and half out in this important chapter of European policy. Out of the euro, you miss an opportunity of influence." Mr Prodi told the BBC.

The President of the European Commission stressed that Britain could not stay half in and half out of Europe. He warned that Britain might not be able to play a key role in Europe if it decides not to join the single currency.

Convince the voters
However, UK Prime Miniser Tony Blair is also taking some action. Two weeks after it was announced that Britain is not yet ready to join the single currency, Mr Blair has launched a new campaign to convince people to support joining the euro.

Today, (26 June), he will address dozens of junior and middle-ranking ministers urging them to go around the country and convince voters to support the single currency.

UK Europe minister Denis MacShane will today also call for every government minister to speak out on Europe and join the prime minister's campaign.

More meetings in Brussels
"I am not the minister who alone should make the case for Europe in Britain. In fact every minister should be a minister for Europe, arguing in speeches and interviews the need for Britain to be fully engaged in the EU", Mr MacShane will say, according to the Independent.

Mr MacShane will also suggest that more select committees in the Commons and Lords should be held in Brussels, which would help the UK Parliament be better informed about what is going on in Europe.