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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Britain Fine On Euro's Sidelines

LONDON -- London's financial district, the City, has prospered since the advent of the euro and is not disadvantaged because Britain has not joined up, Bank of England Governor Eddie George said Tuesday.

George, who has in the past expressed misgivings about membership of Europe's single currency, said the City had played a "very active role" in the development of broader, more liquid financial markets that the euro had made possible and that were vital to its success.

"This activity is in fact the greatest contribution that [Britain] can make to that success from the outside," George said at a conference.

The British government is committed in principle to join the euro and has said it plans to hold a referendum on the issue sometime in the next parliament. An election is due by May 2002.

Speculation is rife, however, that Prime Minister Tony Blair has cooled to the idea since recent opinion polls have shown public and business opinion hardening against the idea, especially since Britain's economy is thriving.