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Wednesday, August 26, 1998 Published at 04:04 GMT 05:04 UK


Sykes' millions to stop euro

The euro comes into effect on 1 January next year

A former Conservative Party parliamentary candidate and businessman is kick-starting the campaign against the euro through a self-funded crusade.

Paul Sykes, worth an estimated £250m, has vowed to "use every means possible" to persuade British voters to say No when there is a referendum on the single currency.

Mr Sykes plans a national publicity blitz using newspapers, posters and the Internet from January 1, 1999 - the starting date for the single currency.

He told The Independent he would keep up the fight for "as long as it takes".

Mr Sykes would not tell the newspaper exactly how much of his fortune he would put in to the project.

He can be seen to be taking over the mantle of the late James Goldsmith's Referendum Party, which contested seats in the 1997 election.

Mr Sykes said: "I'm going to do everything I can to stop this and I will raise hellfire to get the message across.

"I owe that to the British people. There is no point being a rich man if you've lost your nation.

"There never has been a country that doesn't have its own currency.

"I believe the time has come for the British people to be made aware of the disaster that the euro would be.

"This is about telling the man in the street what is going on. The only vote that the people have got is in this referendum.

"You are either for it or against it, it's as simple as that."

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