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Wednesday, 6 September, 2000, 03:46 GMT 04:46 UK
Business chiefs back anti-euro campaign
Lord Owen and Sir Stanley Kalms
Lord Owen and Sir Stanley Kalms helped launch campaign
British business leaders and economists have given their backing to a new campaign against the single European currency.

Some 338 people signed a double-page advertisement in Wednesday's Financial Times, saying: "We, the above names, do not wish Britain to be locked into the euro, leading to higher taxes and employment costs, and the wrong interest rate risking a return to boom and bust."

Our economy hasn't been so healthy in a lifetime. No wonder polls by ICM and Mori show that most business people say yes to Europe but no to the euro

Business chiefs' advert
Among the signatories to the ad are: Brian Williamson, chief executive of the City's futures exchange, Liffe; former GEC chairmen Lords Weinstock and Prior; Lord Hanson; Dixons' Sir Stanley Kalms; and hotelier Sir Rocco Forte.

Three former "wise men" of the Treasury have also put their names to the letter: Professors Patrick Minford, Roger Bootle and Tim Congdon.

The advertisement in the FT stressed that the signatories were supporting the campaign in a personal capacity, and their signatures did not necessarily indicate a corporate position.

The two main anti-euro organisations in the UK, Business for Sterling and New Europe, joined forces on Monday to launch their new campaign against the single currency.

The campaign, called simply "No", aims to put forward the economic and constitutional cases against the UK adopting the euro, while maintaining that the country should retain its EU membership.

'Economic advantages'

Business for Sterling chief executive Nick Herbert said on Wednesday: "In spite of a few vocal companies which have problems exacerbated by the euro's weakness, a clear majority of businesses oppose joining the euro and giving up our economic advantages."

Business for Sterling is also publishing a document setting out what it sees as the business case against British membership of the euro.

It argues that the costs of the euro outweigh the benefits, and that the single currency threatens the UK's economic stability.

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See also:

04 Sep 00 | Business
Anti-euro campaign launched
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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