Page last updated at 23:01 GMT, Friday, 2 January 2009

Should Britain join euro?

Euro notes
A British pound coin next to euro notes

A BBC poll has found that nearly 71% people would vote against Britain joining the euro if it were put to a referendum.

The survey of 1,000 adults revealed that just 23% would vote "yes" to joining the European single currency, while 6% said they were unsure.

The poll, for Radio 4's The World at One, appears to show that recent weakness of the pound has done little to improve the euro's image in the eyes of ordinary voters in the UK.

You've been sending us your comments on the issue.


Keeping the pound is more about national pride and identity, it's like the Royal Family, we don't dump them just because they're having a difficult year. Mandelson or even Brown have no right to mess with such things just to make a name for themselves or to ensure their future position within an imposed European Parliament.
Graham Dickinson, Sheffield

Having lived with both the pesetas (old Spanish currency) and now the euro for the last six or seven years, I have noticed a serious rise in the cost of food, goods and services. Originally the rate was set at 166.385 pesetas to the euro. Within the first year, before we knew it, bars, shops, discos had changed prices so that rates of exchange equalled one euro to every 100 pesetas. Funnily enough, the only thing translated exactly was salaries. Trust me on this Britain, if you have a choice in the matter, say: "No to the euro". Mark Coles, Gran Canaria, Spain

Not only should the UK remain out of the European single currency, we should be given the chance to say whether we want to stay in the EU. With the credit crunch can the UK afford to subsidise the rest of the EU by paying billions to Brussels each year? In the EU I fear that the UK will always be a "pauper nation". Paul Gregory, Newcastle under Lyme

I certainly do not want to join the euro even during these bad times. Lets hang on to as much of our Britishness as we have left and that includes allowing us to vote on the disgraceful European Convention. The pound will come good again and the euro will go down the bowl as predicted because they cannot determine their own interest rates. Freddy Johnson, Pennan, Scotland

As a frequent traveller for business to the mainland continent I would welcome entry into the euro. The arguments against are strong on the surface. We would no longer be able to control our interest rates for instance, and as we are an island, different financial considerations apply to us. However, I do not think we have managed our economy well at all and joining the euro would bring a certain stability to England as its banking system would no longer be so linked to the currency fluctuations.
Stephanie de Leng, Liverpool, UK

I think it would be more useful if we could discover why Britons reject the euro. I can see no particular reason for joining now as the pound is excessively weak and will strengthen eventually. It is true however that those who condemned the euro as a Mickey Mouse currency 10 years ago and who were convinced it would not survive more than a few years have been proved to be massively wrong. Joining the euro does not seem to have diminished the sovereignty of any of the participants, the ECB seems to have acted responsibly and is independent of the European Commission in Brussels in the same way as the Bank of England is independent of the British government. It seems that we British still hark back to the days when the pound sterling was a reserve currency and Britain ruled half the world. Roger Shade, Gillingham Kent

I think it is time to make the move to the euro. The voters above are blinkered into thinking it will not work. Ten years ago when Britain first refused the euro it was common knowledge that in time we would suffer the consequences, which has turned out right. Business is governed by the euro, probably more so than the dollar. It is time we made that move and went to the single currency. It is time for Britain to realise we cannot run on our own anymore, governments have made sure this has happened, in particular the present one. I spend a lot of time in France where prices are low, fuel is low, in fact everything is markedly lower than the UK. Go euro now.
Christopher Way, Bournemouth, England

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