Digital euro plan is a sinister EU plot to ‘control money supply’
European Union plans for a digital euro pose a serious threat to the freedoms of people living within the bloc, UK-based opponents of the concept have claimed as they cautioned UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak against a similar move.
The warnings were issued after the European Central Bank (ECB) confirmed it was moving on with proposals to launch a digital version of the single currency, which is used in 19 EU member states (although not Britain, which uses the pound).
Discussing the plan earlier this week, ECB chief Christine Lagarde said it was important to “prepare our currency for the future” – and denied a digital euro would replace cash.
The next phase of what it termed “the digital euro project” will start in November, and will initially last two years. It will involve finalising the digital euro rulebook and “selecting providers” which could develop a digital euro platform and infrastructure, the ECB announced earlier this week.
In response, Reform UK leader Richard Tice told Express.co.uk: “We are 100 percent opposed to central banking and digital currencies.”
Expanding on his reasons, Reform UK spokesman Gawain Towler added: “This would give Governments the power to control people’s lives.
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“The thing about digital currency is if you’ve got Mahatma Gandhi running it, it’s lovely.
“But modern politicians, who would sell their grandmothers to get five more points in the opinion polls, are not Mahatma Gandhi.
“I would not trust them an inch. When it comes to the digital currency itself, it isn’t evil, it’s morally inert. It’s about how it is used.”
A digital currency could be used as a mechanism for a central bank to “control the flow of money”, Mr Towler warned.
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He said: “It’s another step on the road to a society completely controlled by our political masters.
“He controls the money supply controls everything.
“If you’ve got cash in your hand, you control that cash, you decide how that cash is spent, if you want to go out and have a big blow-up, that’s up to you.
“Whereas can you imagine never having a blowout again because the government does not approve?”
Former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has previously voiced his concerns about what he sees as a threat by banks to phase out physical currency.
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In a clip shared on social media, he said: “Australia wants to phase out cash, but it’s happening here too.
“NatWest, a leaflet just came through everyone’s doors, tomorrow begins today.
“The cashless society is coming, big banks want it.”
Speaking on Wednesday, ECB President Christine Lagarde said: “We need to prepare our currency for the future.
“We envisage a digital euro as a digital form of cash that can be used for all digital payments, free of charge, and that meets the highest privacy standards.
She said: “It would coexist alongside physical cash, which will always be available, leaving no one behind.”
Commenting, Dr Alisa DiCaprio, Chief Economist at R3, the trade association for the UK’s insolvency and restructuring professionals, said: “As we enter the next stage of the digital euro roadmap, developing a model that upholds individuals’ security and privacy should be a top priority for the ECB.
“One current significant challenge facing CBDCs is a lack of clear regulation, which creates uncertainty and a reluctance to engage with the technology. The European Commission published its legislative plans to underpin a digital euro back in June and we expect to see further regulatory clarity following the European elections next year.”
She added: “I hope to see the EU and ECB embrace smart and specific regulations, such as an intermediated model, which would mean that the ECB would not record retail transactions. Instead, commercial banks would offer accounts or digital wallets to facilitate the management of CBDC holdings.”
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