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Alliance Party spokesperson, Stephen Farry, has welcomed the more positive approach of the British Government towards the Euro, and reiterated the Alliance belief that the earliest possible entry of the UK to the EuroZone in is Northern Ireland’s interest.

Stephen Farry said:

“Alliance supports the UK’s entry into the European Single Currency at the earliest possible opportunity. There are sound economic reasons to justify it, in particular greater stability and increased potential for trade. The arguments against are weak and largely based on out-moded attitudes towards sovereignty.

“Northern Ireland’s place in the Euro-Zone is particularly important given the Republic of Ireland’s participation. Its current competitive advantage over Northern Ireland as a location for investment would be further enhanced. It is particularly disappointing that some local politicians, in particular Unionists, do not appreciate what is Northern Ireland’s economic interest.

“Alliance welcomes the more positive attitude of the British government to the UK’s participation in the Single Currency. However, it does not yet amount to a substantive decision to apply for entry.”

Alliance Party Chief Whip, Sean Neeson, has called for the Talks Process to put a greater emphasis on Northern Ireland’s future links with the European Union.

Mr Neeson said:

“The Scottish and Welsh Offices have already started major promotional work in Brussels in advance of devolution being established in their countries. They obviously recognise the importance of direct links with the EU, especially as the United Kingdom government becomes more decentralised.

“Northern Ireland people must have a more direct role in negotiating with the EU, as the Europe of the Regions and the principle of subsidiarity become a reality.”