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The BBC's Carissa Bub
"The campaign will spell out the economic and constitutional cases against euro entry"
 real 56k

Business for Sterling spokesman, Nick Herbert
"There is a serious information gap which we intend to fill"
 real 28k

Shadow Chancellor, Michael Portillo
"We are with the majority of moderate opinion with our European policies"
 real 28k

The BBC's Carole Walker
"The real target of the new drive against the euro is the government"
 real 28k

Monday, 4 September, 2000, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Anti-euro campaign launched
Campaign by Business for Sterling and New Europe against the UK adopting the euro
Campaign poster against the UK adopting the euro
The two main anti-euro campaigning organisations in the UK, Business for Sterling and New Europe, have joined forces and launched a concerted attack on the single European currency.

The campaign is called simply "No", with the explanation "Europe Yes. Euro No".

Our new campaign will expose the real issues that the Government is trying to sweep under the carpet

New Europe
It puts forward the economic and constitutional cases against the UK adopting the euro, while maintaining that the country should retain its EU membership.

The multi-million-pound campaign kicked off this week with national press and poster advertising, direct mailouts to one million businesses, a fundraising mailout by lyricist Sir Tim Rice to 20,000 households, and the distribution of one million leaflets.

However, even before the campaign's start, the UK public appears to be firmly in the anti-euro camp. An ICM poll commissioned by the two organisations suggests that 69% of Britons is against the UK joining monetary union.

The government has pledged to put the issue of eurozone membership to a referendum.

'Viral marketing'

A website - - is featuring campaign commercials that can be downloaded and e-mailed.

By working together and pooling our resources we will be stronger

Business for Sterling
Business for Sterling says this is the first time "viral marketing" has been used in British political campaigning.

Its chief executive, Nick Herbert, said: "By working together and pooling our resources we will be stronger."

Christopher Smallwood, director of New Europe, said: "Our new campaign will expose the real issues that the Government is trying to sweep under the carpet."

New Europe is a cross-party group supported by former Foreign Secretaries David Owen and Malcolm Rifkind and former Chancellors Dennis Healey and Nigel Lawson.

Business for Sterling is a non-party organisation with a council formed by more than 300 business leaders and a national network it says comprises thousands of supporters.

The decision to launch the campaign was apparently taken when the two organisations became convinced the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was planning a snap referendum on adopting the euro if Labour won a General Election in the spring.

Tories chime in

The Conservative shadow chancellor, Michael Portillo, said the UK should protect itself against the "creep" of European legislation.

"Britain, in common with most countries in the world, should have its own currency", Mr Portillo said.

He said it would be very difficult to "have one interest rate and one currency that suits everyone's conditions".

The party is expected to fight the next general election on a "save the pound" platform.

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See also:

01 Sep 00 | Business
Tax cuts will boost euro
04 Aug 00 | Business
UK chided again over euro
08 Jun 00 | Business
UK 'close to eurozone'
29 May 00 | Business
UK 'years' from joining euro
30 Oct 99 | Business Basics
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