Friday, January 27, 2017

Sterling identity

Daniel Hannan is in the Lunch with the FT slot this week, and while the usual front is generally up, there's a revealing remark --

He started in Brussels convinced that Tony Blair would try to take the UK into the euro. “I was assuming things would come to a head much earlier than they actually did . . . I wish I’d done other things in retrospect.” His inclination now is to make up for lost time and he is considering leaving politics when his term expires in 2019.

The high position of the single currency in Eurosceptic demonology is forgotten now, but it's the common thread from Thatcherism through to John Major's exchange rate crisis, and the Tories in prolonged opposition during the Blair era. Elsewhere in the aforementioned FT article, it's mentioned that Hannan's student writing at Oxford was fulminating about the Exchange Rate Mechanism (also forgotten: the ERM was a two-time winner of Private Eye's Bore of the Year award).

Yet the single currency issue was killed without a fight by ... Gordon Brown. Could it be that the entire Brexit situation, which only became an electoral force after the single currency was off the table, happened because that there was a generation who had styled their careers as being against the Euro and now needed something else to validate that?

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