June 9 date for euro entry decision

The announcement on whether the Government recommends Britain's entry into the euro will be made in the House of Commons on Monday June 9.

It will follow a special Cabinet session, held the previous week on June 5 or 6, where ministers will have their final discussion and reach a verdict.

That Cabinet meeting will follow a series of sessions between individual Cabinet members and Prime Minister Tony Blair with Chancellor Gordon Brown, Downing Street said today

The Cabinet will have an initial discussion on the single currency at their meeting next Thursday, May 22.

Mr Blair outlined the timetable to Cabinet colleagues at their regular weekly meeting this morning.

His official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister set out the process by which Cabinet will reach a final decision on the euro in line with the Government's policy that it would be a Cabinet decision.

"Eighteen technical documents will be sent to Cabinet ministers over the weekend."

Those are the technical assessments which the Treasury has promised will accompany its verdict on whether five economic tests have been met which would justify recommending joining the euro.

The spokesman went on: "The Prime Minister and Chancellor will have joint discussions with Cabinet members in the course of next week to discuss those documents and studies.

"We will have an initial discussion at Cabinet next week on May 22. On May 26 we will give the assessment to all members of the Cabinet to be read over the Whitsun break."

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