This is a comprehensive analysis of the issues surrounding monetary union. It presents a review of how EMU works and the ups and downs of history. Monetary union poses major problems for many European governments. In Britain, the exit from the EMU signalled the failure of John Major's economic strategy and also led to the break-up of his European policy. For Blair too the issue will cause problems. A critical supporter of the project of European monetary integration, the author puts forward his own suggestions for an alternative approach. He argues that it should exist within an overall neo-Keynesian approach to fiscal management. Recent successes of the left - the electoral success of new Labour and of the new French socialist government - means that Grahl's analysis is increasingly representative of that of the major players in Europe: that joining the EMU should not automatically necessitate fiscal stringency and cuts in public spending. John Grahl is the author (with Paul Teague) of "1992 - The Big Market: The Future of the European Community" and "Industrial Relations and European Integration".