Euro may be in crisis but Heseltine says UK will join

Britain will join the euro, Tory grandee Lord Heseltine claimed yesterday.

The former deputy prime minister, a long-time supporter of the single currency, said the public had “no idea” about the potential impact its collapse would have on the UK.

But he believes Franco-German “determination” will secure the euro’s future and pave the way for Britain to sign up.

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Lord Heseltine, who now heads the government’s regional growth fund, said: “I think we will join the euro.

“I think the chances are the euro will survive because the determination, particularly of the French and the Germans, is to maintain the coherence that they have created in Europe.”

“Now they have got a hell of a problem, let’s be frank about it, but my guess is that they will find a way through.

“I hope they will because the downside for the British economy of the euro going under is catastrophic.

“People have no idea of the scale of money British banks are owed by European banks. If the European banks start going it will be our banks on the line, our government on the line.”

He also argued ministers should not consider plans to make it easier for companies to fire staff as it would put voters off the Conservatives.

Heseltine said it would be a political mistake.