Most British commentators and politicians seem to be very happy that the UK never joined the euro. There’s sadly a lot of schadenfreude in the British media at the moment, as if the UK was doing well while the eurozone was suffering. However, in reality the UK is experiencing a deep economic slump, too, and the UK’s economy is tightly tied to the rest of the EU, euro or no euro, and the UK won’t recover fully until the rest of the EU are doing well again, too.
The UK is so clearly affected by the euro crisis but can’t do very much – British advice is clearly not received very positively by eurozone politicians. Wouldn’t it have been better to have been part of it so that the UK had been a central part of the negotiations to solve the crisis?
If the UK had joined the euro from the beginning, British politicians could also have influenced the project. For instance, they might have managed to keep out Italy or at least Greece, or prevented the budget deficit rules from being watered down.
However, now is definitely not the right time to join. The eurozone is clearly going through a lot of upheaval at the moment, and one might as well wait for the situation to settle down before joining.