1989: Competing Currencies Proposed for Europe by the UK Treasury

Via Note from Her Majesty’s Treasury on EMU (Novembre 1989):

The European Council agreed at its meeting in Madrid in June to launch the first Stage of economic and monetary union (EMU) on 1 July 1990. The Council also confirmed the objective of the progressive realisation of EMU but did not specify how that objective was to be realised. By common consent the next steps in economic and monetary integration of the twelve Member States will be crucial to the future economic development of the European Community. That development must be based on firm and durable foundations which reflect both the diversity and the unity of the economic and monetary situation in the Community. This paper suggests how such sound foundations should be laid in a way which avoids the pitfalls of other approaches now under consideration.

Follow the link above for details of how Britain thought competing European currencies would have been a better alternative to Delors’ Euro: competition would have made money honest.

It’s a fascinating read which lays aside the notion that competing currencies are far beyond the mainstream. What a pity this plan wasn’t enacted.

And a grateful hat-tip to Michael Fallon MP, who brought the existence of this paper to my attention.

See also Denationalisation of Money: The Argument Refined.