EUROPE – EMU – 3 May 2001

Dr Julian Lewis: What the implications are for businesses of replacing the pound by the single European currency?

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] I congratulate the Secretary of State [Stephen Byers] on reading out his mantra so fluently. If there are those benefits, how can he explain the discrepancy that, whereas British public opinion is against joining the single currency and scrapping the pound to the tune of two-thirds of the entire population, British businesses are against joining the single currency and scrapping the pound to the tune of three-quarters of British businesses? What do British businesses know that make them so much more opposed to new Labour's policy of scrapping the pound than even the vast majority of the electorate at large?