'CURRENCY TRICKS'

Daily Telegraph – 8 September 1998

Lord Marsh and his colleagues (letter, September 7) are right to point out that the CBI is trying to portray industry as being more enthusiastic about the euro than is really the case. This sort of chicanery has its parallels at local level.

Thus, it was reported in the regional press on July 14 that 47 percent of south-coast businesses favoured early entry into EMU. Enquiry revealed that this survey, by a firm of business advisers, involved a " number" of people at an "informal" breakfast at an undisclosed venue on an unknown date.

However divided business may be on this issue, the public are overwhelmingly opposed to the single European currency. A Gallup poll in June – a genuine survey, unlike the efforts of the CBI – showed that only 33 percent were in favour of the euro, whilst 65 percent were against it, with only two percent undecided.

Labour voters were opposed to EMU by 58 percent to 39 percent, Liberal Democrat voters by 65 percent to 33 percent (the same as the overall average) and Conservative voters by 76 percent to 23 percent. This shows the sort of result which William Hague can expect when he proceeds with his internal party ballot on this vital subject.

Dr JULIAN LEWIS MP
Cadnam, Hampshire