BusinessCompany NewsFDs demand euro vote this year

FDs demand euro vote this year

An emphatic 61% of finance directors have demanded a referendum on UK entry to the euro within the next 12 months following the smooth new year launch of the single currency.

With the euro in its second official week, two out of three FDs responding to the Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question survey supported polling the country on entry to the euro over the next year.

Robert Dearing, FD of Twickenham Plating Group, said: ‘I think we should have done this ten years ago.’ Sacha Hemans, FD at Arbour International, added: ‘It should be sooner than 12 months and we should get out of being such traditionalists.’

Many of the 225 FDs polled complained of the inconvenience of not being part of the new currency. One FD said: ‘The UK as a whole needs to be more competitive within Europe and being part of euro will help this.’

Only 8% remained neutral, 31% disagreed and thought that another year would give a more informed decision.

Andrew Murdoch, Ealing Tertiary College FD, said: ‘It is inevitable and the government obviously wants it, but a referendum in the next twelve months is too soon.’

Opinion among finance directors has been shifting during the last 12 months. In October 2001 50% of FDs said they were in favour of joining the euro.

However in June 2001 just 33% supported UK adoption of the single currency during the lifetime of the next parliament.

One FD who admitted to changing his mind in favour, said he felt the euro was going well in Europe and the UK ‘should join sooner rather than later so that we don’t lag behind’.

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