Will everyone have to use the “euro” in 2020?
Let’s for the moment suspend the brexit process and assume we remainders in Gibraltar (96%) get what we voted for and the UK etc stay in the EU. There have been a few scare stories from both sides that literally muddy any water so many of we simple voters hardly catch a breath trying to sift through what is true or false. Let’s take one that has been bandied by a few not least a couple of MP’s indeed and even Esther McVey’s twitter had a tweet in therein that has been subsequently deleted. What was that story? Well apparently in 2020 ALL EU members will have to join the euro or I suppose in brexiteer terms … “Be damned!”
Two MPs in early March this year separately have claimed that all EU countries that don’t already use the Euro as their currency will be forced to adopt it after 2020. Conservative MP Esther McVey shared a tweet from the account BrexitCentral which said as much, the tweet was based on a prediction in an opinion piece from the Telegraph that was published in 2014.
Daniel Kawczynski MP, mentioned this on the 12 March 2019 “I’ve just been hearing that the European Union is now telling all the other non-Eurozone countries that after 2020 they’re all going to have to abandon their currencies and have the Euro.”
To put it simply. It’s not correct.
At the moment, 19 of the 28 EU members are part of the ‘Euro area’. Two countries—the UK and Denmark—have “opt-outs” meaning they don’t have to join the Euro at any time. All other EU member states are supposed to join the Euro eventually, but this doesn’t override the UK or Denmark’s opt out, and there is currently no time limit on reaching that goal.The seven EU member states that do not currently use the Euro, and do not have an opt-out, are expected to join the Euro only when they meet certain conditions of economic stability. These criteria include: inflation (the way prices change over time) and long-term interest rates in that country must be within a certain distance of the three “best performing” countries in the EU, public finances must be “sound and sustainable”, and exchange rates must be stable. Again, currently there is no time limit set on this process. This claim is similar to one we’ve factchecked before (as part of a viral post on the Lisbon Treaty) which claimed that all EU members must adopt the Euro by 2020, or within two years of joining the EU. For the same reasons this claim is also incorrect.
Of course if we revoke and continue then the status quo remains however if we don’t then return further down the road the possibility of some kind of severe telling off from the EU is a possibility and any vetoes we used to have, including the euro opt-out may well be overturned.