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In his Jan. 30 article, “Dreaming of a pound floor,” David Howell predicts that Britain is unlikely to “replace the pound with the euro.” The question is: Why?

One answer might be a typical British politician like Howell. When he refers to the “euro straitjacket,” we get the point immediately. This attitude is tied up with a peculiar fixation on national bondage. The “nanny state” is another terror. The economic discipline of belonging to the euro zone seems to be nightmarish to politicians like Howell.

Why, he might ask himself, will other countries such as France and Germany fare better, and why does a smaller nation like Ireland have greater confidence, than Britain in dealing with the financial crisis? Perhaps because they belong to that dominatrix the euro zone. Britain is on its knees in part because, as it used to boast, having its own currency made it more flexible and able to take bigger risks. What about the rather better idea of interdependence and the greater security of belonging to a larger economic grouping? Plus that awful inhibitor — collective responsibility. Heaven forfend!

n.r. williams

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