This week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Personnel Big Question survey found 51% of over 300 finance directors polled said the UK should join the euro during the next parliament. Only 32% voted against, with 17% remaining neutral.
Although a slim majority, the result represents a sea change from just six months ago. Only 35% of FDs backed the currency when asked the same question and 55% said the UK should not join the single currency.
Some of those questioned had clear views. ‘The sooner we join, the sooner we will have manufacturing stability. We are at a disadvantage to those who are in the euro,’ warned Tony Collins, finance director at Laurence Scott Electronics.Others were less enthusiastic. ‘I don’t really like the idea of it, but feel it needs to happen to protect this country’s businesses,’ said David Hayward, FD of Lynx Automotive. ‘It is inevitable anyway,’ said another FD.
The results of the survey were revealed as a European Union poll showed British public support for the euro has slumped to an all-time low of 22%.
Bank of England governor Eddie George also this week revealed a less than enthusiastic approach to abandoning the pound. ‘We must put emphasis on sustainability rather than transient opportunity,’ he told a banking magazine.Concerns of FDs still hostile to the euro include its instability, economic disparities between member states and the fear of losing control over the British economy.
When the question was asked by Accountancy Age a year ago, 41% of FDs backed joining in the next parliament, while 42% voted against.
Denmark, where the electorate is equally spilt on the issue, is gearing up to go to the polls on 28 September to decide whether to give up the kroner.
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