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A Stranger in EuropeBritain and the EU from Thatcher to Blair$
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Stephen Wall

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199284559

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199284559.001.0001

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The Euro and Union: Thatcher, Major, and Fin de Régime

The Euro and Union: Thatcher, Major, and Fin de Régime

(p.87) 5 The Euro and Union: Thatcher, Major, and Fin de Régime
A Stranger in Europe

Stephen Wall

Oxford University Press

Nigel Lawson, the British Chancellor, viewed Margaret Thatcher's agreement, at the Hanover European Council in June 1988, to a committee to examine the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as a disaster. Lawson was always in favour of Britain's membership of the exchange rate mechanism and against EMU. Michael Butler, by now working for Hambros in the City, set up a City Committee to monitor the whole issue of EMU and the work of the Delors Committee, and himself began to advocate a scheme which was the brainchild of a brilliant young economist at Midland Montagu, Paul Richards. Known as the hard European currency unit, the idea was to replicate the rigour of the deutschmark in a common currency, rather than a single currency. The British government did not immediately warm to the scheme, with some long-term costs. Thatcher would be eventually succeeded by John Major as British Prime Minister.

Keywords:   Margaret Thatcher, Britain, Nigel Lawson, Economic and Monetary Union, Delors Committee, international relations, foreign policy, European currency unit, John Major

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