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The Prime Minister: We have made our position on the single currency clear time without mention. The hon. Gentleman's position is that we should never join a single currency. The position of Conservative Front-Bench Members is that they would not join for two Parliaments. Our position is that we should join a successful single currency, provided that the economic conditions are met. That is a sensible position. What is foolish is to rule out joining for ever. Even more foolish is to say, as those on Conservative Front Bench do, that they will not join for two Parliaments but will, in the meantime, cancel the changeover plan so that they could not join even if they wanted to do so. With the greatest respect tothe hon. Gentleman, he is perfectly entitled to his view

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that Britain should withdraw from the European Union, but I do not think that that would be in the country's interests.

Sir Teddy Taylor: Why not answer the question?

The Prime Minister: I have; I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman just does not like the answer.

On disarming the KLA, the disarmament process is set out in the United Nations resolution. Of course, the logistics are for the international force to work out.

Mrs. Alice Mahon (Halifax): Is the Prime Minister aware that yesterday Kenneth Baker, a Pentagon spokesman, said that many Serbs will want to exercise their freedom of movement and leave the province when NATO moves in? Given that the bombing was meant to try to prevent ethnic cleansing, which we apparently did not, will the Prime Minister give the House the guarantee that he will do everything possible to prevent further ethnic cleansing of the Serbs in Kosovo, many of whom have been ethnically cleansed from Krajina already?

The Prime Minister: Of course I give that undertaking. The international force is there to ensure that people are allowed to live in peace whatever their ethnic background. My hon. Friend cannot dismiss the fact that the ethnic cleansing that took place in Kosovo was of Kosovar Albanians. In relation to Serbs, I think that Mr. Baker was simply indicating--incidentally, my hon Friend offered a slight misconstruction of his comments--that the Serbs are free to go or to stay as they wish, but the international presence will be there to guarantee the peace, security and safety of all ethnic groupings. I was asked about this matter on television last night. Of course, it will be difficult because of what has happened and there is no point dismissing that or thinking that it will be easy for those communities to come back and live side by side with each other again.

We undertook the action to reverse the policy of ethnic cleansing and to install a proper, objective security presence. I have no doubt that British troops will be entirely objective in their handling of both ethnic groupings.

Mr. Michael Colvin (Romsey): At the summit, did the Heads of State of those countries that have joined the euro still think that it was going to work, bearing in mind that their economies are now diverging rather than converging? Was any estimate made of the sorts of cross-subsidy that will be required to maintain convergence? What will be the cost of meeting that end in terms of our contributions to the European budget?

The Prime Minister: None is the answer to the last part of that question, since the budget contributions were determined at Berlin. Before the hon. Gentleman and others dance on the euro's grave, let me point out that he and many others like him said that the euro would never happen. Whatever the fluctuations of the euro in the first few months, I think that it will require a little more time than he is prepared to give it to make an assessment. The answer to the first part of his question is that I believe that there is a very significant determination among those countries that are members of the euro to make it succeed. I think that he is a little premature in writing it off.

Mr. Clive Soley (Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush): If, as I hope, we are moving from the military to the

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political phase, to rebuilding political stability in the Balkans, can the Prime Minister assure me that we will do everything possible to keep Russia locked into the process and encouraged in that way?

I should not like this occasion to pass without placing on record our appreciation of the professionalism of our armed forces. The Prime Minister's leadership has been outstanding. I hope that he receives many letters of apology from all the armchair critics who told him that his policy was doomed to failure and that all that we could do was to watch ethnic cleansing in Europe on our television sets.

The Prime Minister: Our troops have done a wonderful job and are now going to be called upon to do the most difficult part of their task: escorting the refugees back and making sure that they can live in peace. My right hon. Friend the Defence Secretary was out with the troops earlier today. They can be immensely proud of the role that they have played, particularly the humanitarian help that they have given. In respect of my hon. Friend's other points, the important thing now is to make sure that the peace is properly implemented and won as well.

Mr. Edward Garnier (Harborough): Is there not a danger that the indictment of President Milosevic will be seen by the Serb Government as a matter of no consequence and by others as amounting to no more than a gesture unless NATO and the Government take practical steps to bring it into effect? What practical steps can he and his fellow Heads of Government take to ensure that an indicted war criminal is brought to justice?

The Prime Minister: I do not think that anyone, least of all Milosevic, regards his indictment as merely a gesture or as insignificant. Some people say that we should be prepared to invade Serbia and bring Milosevic to justice, which is the only sure way of doing that, but for the reasons that I have explained, I do not think that we should take that position.

We are obliged to give all help to the International War Crimes Tribunal. We shall judge the best way that we can do that. Slowly but surely, the main war criminals from Bosnia are being picked up there. In the most recent period, I think that 13 have been picked up. While there is a limit to what we can feasibly do in these situations, we intend to go on doing everything possible to assist the International War Crimes Tribunal, which we support.

Mr. Dale Campbell-Savours (Workington): Will the interests of the valiant people of Montenegro, whom we do not talk about much, be fully safeguarded in discussions over the next few days, particularly when the sides return to the famous tent in northern Macedonia to consider arrangements for the withdrawal of Serbian forces? I seek an assurance that they will not pass through Montenegrin territory because that could destabilise that part of Yugoslavia.

The Prime Minister: The people and Government of Montenegro and President Djukanovic deserve to be congratulated on their courageous stand over the past few months. We have made it very, very clear indeed that the troops are to withdraw to Serbia.

Mr. Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne): Can the Prime Minister explain why, following the Cologne summit,

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those European Commissioners tainted by sleaze are still at their desks, drawing salaries and building up their pension rights?

The Prime Minister: They are going. An entirely new Commission is going in. [Hon. Members: "Entirely new?"] The Commission has to be reappointed again. [Interruption.] The Commissioners are all there under contracts signed when the hon. Gentleman's Government were in power.

Audrey Wise (Preston): Will my right hon. Friend tell us what steps will be taken to deal with the pollution of the River Danube and with the other environmental consequences of the war? Will additional economic, or other, conditions be placed on Serbia before reconstruction of its extensively damaged infrastructure can take place?

The Prime Minister: I would not pay too much attention to some of the allegations that have been made about environmental damage before evaluating them properly. For example, after investigation by wholly independent people from the UN, some of the allegations made about such damage were found to be false. I do not know the answer to the question of what environmental damage there is, but I suspect that there is a good deal less than some of the people who have been supporting Serbia would accept.

What we are saying is clear and straightforward: we cannot put international money into financing the reconstruction of Serbia while Milosevic remains in power. People would not understand it if we did so. It is important to give a democratic Serbia the prospect of being able to be part of Balkan reconstruction if it embraces the values of democracy.

Mr. Tim Collins (Westmorland and Lonsdale): Would the Prime Minister recommend entry to the euro at the current exchange rate?

The Prime Minister: We are not at the stage of discussing what exchange rate the pound and the euro should have, if we enter the euro. I believe that our policy is sensible. The hon. Gentleman's policy would effectively rule out the euro and cancel the changeover plan, which would mean that we could not join the euro even if we wanted to. That is not a sensible policy. If I were him--one of the younger, aspiring Members on the Conservative Back Benches--I would think about where he wants his party to be in a few years' time, rather than joining in--[Interruption.] Take it from us; we learned a long lesson in the 1980s. The way to get power is not to behave irresponsibly; the anti-Europeanism of the Conservative party is irresponsible.

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