NEWPORT MP Alan Howarth is heading for a clash with Prime Minister Tony Blair over the euro.

Mr Howarth, pictured, a former arts minister in Mr Blair's government, has declared that Britain should not join the euro for the foreseeable future.

Mr Howarth has told the government that the Brussels Commissions Policy would destroy the EU art market located in London.

And he said despite "the heroic struggles" of Neil Kinnock as the Commissions' vice-president, charged with a task of reforming the commission, his job would be "even tougher than any he had to do as leader of the Labour Party".

The indictment of the commission by the Newport East MP during a European affairs debate in the Commons is a warning to Downing Street that Mr Blair will face a revolt from some Labour MPs if he decides to take Britain into the euro.

The prime minister is already preparing the ground to ask the voters in a referendum to support joining the euro should Chancellor Gordon Brown decide the economic conditions are right.

Mr Howarth, who defected to Labour from the Tories, was a minister in the government until he was dropped in the summer reshuffle following Labour's re-election.

Speaking to MPs, he said that while he regarded himself as a European and had lived in France: "I cannot believe that we should join the single currency in the foreseeable future, at any rate."

He also took issue with Mr Blair, who recently voiced regret that Britain had not joined the European Union at its conception.

Mr Howarth said: "The fact is that nothing in Britain's historical experience disposed us to feel that we should be part of the new system that the French and the Germans were creating.

"If we had deep national doubts about more limited propositions in the 1950s and the 1970s there are now even deeper doubts about merging our currency with the single European currency."

He added that a single interest rate was difficult enough to manage within the UK.