27 February 1998

Loss of control a worry

A LOSS of control over the UKs own destiny was the main concern from the floor.

"We are promised low inflation, low unemployment, low debt," said Yorkshire farmer Henry Fell. "But what shred of evidence is there to support that? Why shouldnt the UK succeed as an independent trading nation?"

But Robert Gooch of Eurinco replied that the German Bundes-bank – likely to provide the model for the new Central European Bank – had the best record in Europe since the war on interest rates and inflation. German unemployment problems were only caused by lack of labour market flexibility.

NFU president, Ben Gill, suggested the UK had lost its independence years ago. "In the past. when the Bundesbank has changed interest rates. that has had an immediate impact on interest rates and the £ in the UK."

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