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Should The Uk Join The Euro Or Remain Master Of Its Own Fiscal Destiny. What Are The Arguments For And Against?

3005 words - 13 pages

Should Britain join the Euro or remain the master of its own fiscal policy, perhaps losing influence within the European Union (EU) as a consequence? British enthusiasm is low with only 37% of Small or Medium Enterprises favouring inclusion and 59% of small businesses opposed . An EU survey found Britain was least proud, and had the lowest opinion of Europe. Britain also had the highest public opinion against the Euro (65%) and felt it had benefited least from EU status . When assessing British business attitudes to Europe this cultural bias cannot be discounted. Certainly the government needs to help informed decisions. This document is intended to present facts by outlining the concepts of ...view middle of the document...

Facing policy problems with the implementation of the SEA, the Treaty on European Union (the Maastricht Treaty) signed in 1991 overcame emerging issues. EU institutions were further empowered and it went some way to creating the international identity of the EU, outlining other policies such as economic union and the 'social chapter' that increased the freedom of movement.The 'Four freedoms':AdministrativeRed tape had long allowed the state to impose tariffs that shielded domestic marketsfrom open market pressures. Its removal meant exporters were able to reduce delivery costs. The changes extended to people also, allowing the migration of workers within the community without the need for work permits.FiscalThe restrictions on the movement of capital made inward investment complicated and risk loaded. Opening up financial markets has increased competitiveness on interest rates attracting organisations to borrow new capital for expansion. Member states have been reluctant to remove all fiscal barriers. Particular resistance hasremained to the call for harmonisation of VAT rates owing to internal budget needs.However the long term goal is recognised in order to stop citizens going toneighbouring countries to buy goods cheaper, as evidenced by the 'booze cruise'culture in the South East of England.TechnicalThe removal of restrictive practices and harmonisation of technical standards acrossthe EU enables businesses to improve their competitiveness. The CE mark hasreplaced national standards to create homogenous specifications across the EU forcomparative products. Its introduction assisted some companies benefit from economies of scale as all their production resources could be channeled to one specification instead of differentiating between national markets.The crucial role of innovation in maintaining the EU's prominent global positioning is recognized. Assistance with grants and partner locating have aided research projects and encouraged increased co-operation between EU businesses in order to improve innovation through shared technological advances.The Liberalisation of CompetitionRecognising the removal of so many barriers could be replaced with new ones the EUpassed regulations preventing deliberate interference in markets by nation states.Rules were tightened on subsidies to weak domestic industry; though how thisbalances with the restrictive Common Agricultural Policy that inhibits free trade is aparadox that may never be answered. Public procurement contracts now need to beadvertised pan EU through compulsory competitive tendering, making governmentsmore cost transparent, though causing delays in project timescales and political upsetamongst domestic business who do not win orders.Downside?Whilst price competition is good for consumers it places strain on less efficientmanufacturers. Driven to cut costs, jobs and quality can be sacrificed. However standards set centrally have helped create a more level playing field across Europe, closing...

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