Tories exploit Labour splits over Euro as poor are ignored
Conservatives are seizing on splits in the Labour party over joining the Euro and emphasising that a decision to be made primarily in terms of the UKís national interest.
Chancellor Gordon Brown is expected to announce within days whether the five economic tests for the UK joining the euro had been met, but shadow chancellor Michael Howard has said that the Government is split from top to bottom over whether joining the Euro would be good for Britain.
Such an approach which forces a decision to be made primarily in terms of Britainís self interest however, ignores how the decision might effect countries outside the Euro zone whose currencies have to compete against an ever-strengthening Euro.
Organisations such as the Christian campaign group the Movement for Christian Democracy, have highlighted how the debate over joining the Euro has ignored the potential effects on other countries, particularly the worldís poorest.
Using the illustration of the biblical commandment to ìLove your neighbour as you love yourselfî they have pointed out that on an international level, the principles has been conspicuous by its absence in the Euro debate.
Many currencies however stand to lose out significantly as the Euro strengthens and other countries struggle to compete.
The new comments by the shadow chancellor came as Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith effectively told the prime minister to put up or shut up over the single currency.
And Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy said Tony Blair now had to show some political resolve on the issue.
Mr Brown, widely seen to be more eurosceptic than Tony Blair, told GMTV's Sunday programme he was pro-Europe, insisting he would back euro entry if the economic circumstances for Britain were right. In keeping with the debate so farm no mention was made of the implications for any other country.
But Mr Duncan Smith challenged the prime minister to hold a referendum if he was serious about Britain joining the single currency.
"If not, he should rule it out for the rest of the Parliament. Either have a referendum or rule it out," he said.
Both sides of the euro debate are intensifying their case ahead of the deadline - 7 June - for the government to announce its verdict on more than 2,000 pages of Treasury analysis on the merits of the UK joining the euro.
It is widely expected that the result of there will be a "not yet met" assessment of the tests.
The pro-euro camp want to ensure an early referendum is not ruled out.
Business leaders who represent 25 of some of the biggest companies operating in the UK have also signed a letter predicting dire economic consequences if the UK does not adopt the euro.
The signatories include Sir Chris Gent, chief executive of Vodafone, Peter Sutherland, chairman of BP, and Lord Simon of Highbury, the former Treasury minister.