THE fall in the value of the pound has eased one of the obstacles in the way of Britain joining the euro.

Governor of the Bank of England Sir Edward George, giving evidence to the Commons Treasury select committee, said that the strength of sterling was no longer the "immediate obstacle" to British membership of the single currency that it was a year ago.

He said that it was still not clear whether the pound had now fallen far enough or what the right exchange rate would be for Britain to join.

"Heaven knows. It is a real art.

"You can come to lots of different answers," he said.

"That obstacle is certainly reduced in those terms. But whether it has come down to a level that is acceptable - you are going to have to get the views of the people who are exposed to the euro exchange rate, you are going to have to do an awful lot of academic work.

"Whatever it was a year ago, it is certainly more acceptable now. But that is a comment on the rate a year back.

"There is going to have to be judgement as to what is appropriate and it's going to have to involve input from a lot of different sources."