30/11/2001

Give NI Euro status says NIWC member

The Stormont Assembly is currently debating a motion urging the British government to give dual currency status to the euro in Northern Ireland.

The motion was tabled by Jane Morrice, a member of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition and a former head of the European Commission Office in Belfast.

Ms Morrice argued Northern Ireland was a special case in the UK as it shared a land border with a member state due to introduce the euro in January 2002.

With large companies already preparing for the impact of the single currency, Ms Morrice said smaller businesses in Northern Ireland would not be able to compete with companies in the Irish Republic.

Speaking on Friday November 30, Ms Morrice said: “We want equality for Northern Irish companies on this island and in Europe. Unless we take steps to accommodate the Euro, and assist our local businesses to adjust to the changes, we are placing barriers in the way of economic growth.

“We want to make sure that local businesses, tourism, and exporters do not lose out when the Euro arrives on our doorstep. Small businesses, particularly around the border area, will be asked to deal with Euros. If they can’t afford to compete with other companies across the border or across Europe, they risk losing trade and we risk long-term harm to our economy.

“Political support for this project is as vital as practical and financial support. I hope that my Assembly colleagues will support this motion and give this issue priority.” (AMcE)

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