EU Referendum

Reality Check: What have the Bank of England, the IMF and the US said about the UK joining the euro?

Andrea Leadsom MP said: "These people all said we should join the euro."

The claim: Andrea Leadsom MP says the Bank of England, the IMF and the US all said the UK should adopt the euro.

Reality Check verdict: None of these three recommended the UK should adopt the euro.

When asked on the Andrew Marr Show about the warnings given by the Bank of England, the IMF and the US on the potential economic risks posed by leaving the EU, Andrea Leadsom dismissed them, and said: "These people all said we should join the euro."

The euro was introduced in 1999. Britain did not have to join because the UK negotiated a permanent opt-out from European Monetary Union (EMU) as part of the Maastricht Treaty, signed in 1992.

Joining has remained an option. So have the Bank of England, IMF or the United States ever said the UK should join the Euro?

Back in 1999 the then governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, said: "It really is too soon to say whether all participating countries will be able to exist comfortably within the single monetary policy framework or whether there will be tension."

He also said that it would be "tremendously difficult" ever to know for certain if the British economy was ready to join.

Just one year later, in 2000, Sir Eddie reiterated the same position, suggesting that the UK's hesitance to join the euro was down to "a real debate about the risks and potential costs of divergence between our own monetary policy needs and those of the members of the eurozone".

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In the same year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that a strong case for or against UK membership of the euro didn't exist.

It judged that the main benefits from joining EMU would be savings in transaction costs and better market transparency. This, they argued, would have a positive impact on investment, productivity and growth.

On the negative side, they said: "joining the EMU would imply relinquishing an independent monetary policy and a flexible exchange rate."

The Reality Check team looked into what the US Treasury were saying in the lead up to the introduction of the euro. We found a number of statements on the benefits of the EMU in general, with one suggesting that any move to strengthen Europe economically would be good for the United States.

But we didn't find any explicit recommendations from the US Treasury arguing for the UK to join the euro.


Read more: The facts behind claims in the EU debate


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