Evening Standard – 9 June 2000
Peter Kellner (6 June) may believe that the time is right for Tony Blair to come off the fence and sell the case for the euro, but poll after poll demonstrates why he is so reluctant to do so.
According to the latest in a series of polls conducted by ICM, 62 percent of the British people said "No" to replacing the pound with the single European currency and only 28 percent replied "Yes".
A majority of Labour voters, 51 percent to 42 percent, wished to keep the pound, while Liberal Democrat voters opposed economic and monetary union by 59 percent to 31 percent, despite the fact that their Party's position is in favour of replacing the pound with the euro. Seventy-five percent of Conservative voters said "No" to the euro and only 17 percent said "Yes".
The last Labour policy which saw such enormous public opposition was the scrapping of our nuclear defences in the 'Eighties. The single currency is well on the way to becoming an albatross for Tony Blair.
Dr JULIAN LEWIS MP
House of Commons