Much has been written and said about the first anniversary of the euro. As an opinion poll in Spain suggested last week many people believe that the cost of living has soared as a result of the single currency and the majority said that life was better with the peseta. But an occasion which hasn't been marked at all is the first anniversary of the pound sterling going it alone, so to speak. Britain has proved over the last 12 months that you can stay out of the euro and still prosper but still be at the heart of Europe. I thought, and I don't think I was alone, that by this stage Britain would have no option but to join the single currency as it would be difficult, economically speaking, to stay out. I sincerely suspected that the pound's value against the euro would have plummeted leaving Britain little option. This has not proved to be the case and 12 months down the line and the pound is basically worth the same now as on January 1 2002. One of the reasons why the local economy has not gone into recession is because the strength of the pound has meant that big spending British tourists continue to come here on holiday. I wouldn't like to be leading the pro-euro campaign in Britain; their case 12 months ago was a lot stronger then than it is now. As you have probably gathered I am no fan of the single currency, I don't feel there is a need for it. If Britain does decide to join, which I now feel is very unlikely, it can do so on its own terms. Monetary union is not vital, you can go it alone. It's not very fashionable, it's not very European, but there is an option.
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