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Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Geldof says no to euro
Bob Geldof in the anti-euro film
Bob Geldof is a trusted and respected figure
Former pop star Bob Geldof has joined the campaign to keep the pound.

He features in an advert being launched by the No campaign on Tuesday to highlight what they say are the dangers of joining the single currency.

You know it's not anti-European to be against the euro

Bob Geldof
The advert, to be screened in cinemas nationwide later this month, is designed to appeal to those who are switched off by traditional politics

But the Britain in Europe campaign has dubbed the adverts a gimmick.

The pro-euro group claims those opposed to joining the single currency are running away from the real arguments about jobs and the economy.

Comic touch

The advertising campaign includes jokes and comments from comedians Harry Enfield and Rik Mayall, the musician Jools Holland, as well as Geldof.

In the advert, the former Boomtown Rats singer condemns the euro as "hugely undemocratic".

"You know, it's not anti-European to be against the euro," he adds.

Geldof's charity work since Live Aid in the 1980s has won him much public admiration as a non-politician engaged in political issues.

Harry Enfield
Comedian Harry Enfield opposes the euro
No Campaign director George Eustice said: "It is certainly the case that politicians are not very popular these days and this is an issue where we need to connect with the whole of the electorate."

That argument was dismissed, however, by Britain in Europe director Simon Buckby, who said the euro debate was about the UK's long-term prosperity and future.

Once again we get gimmicks instead of a well informed debate

Richard, UK

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"The campaign about the euro is not started yet and I think just turning to a bunch of comedians isn't going to help explain to people what the serious issues are about," said Mr Buckby.

The Conservatives' director of strategy Dominic Cummings has warned that if the Tories were to define the anti-euro campaign they would threaten the pound's survival.

But Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith has insisted he will be at the forefront of the campaign to keep the pound.

Tests met?

Mr Duncan Smith said last week that if it was up to him there would be no referendum on the issue.

But should one be called, he would fight scrapping the pound, he told BBC One's Question Time.

The pro-euro Britain in Europe group says the real campaign will not start unless or until Chancellor Gordon Brown declares the five economic tests have been met.

A new study from academics on Monday suggested the government's those five tests had now been met.

With the euro tipped to regain parity with the dollar soon, pro-euro campaigners say such moves would produce the kind of sustainable exchange rates needed for British entry.

But anti-euro Labour MP Frank Field told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The hard truth is that until you have actually gone in you cannot know whether it is the right rate or not."

The BBC's Mark Mardell
"The ad brands the euro a foolish politician's project"
No campaign
Click here to watch the anti-euro advert

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