Manufacturing is more enthusiastic than business as a whole about British entry into European economic and monetary union, a Mori/CBI survey showed this week.
Half of the 1,284 responses came from the manufacturing sector, which showed a consistently more favourable stance on entry to the single currency.
Asked about the effect of staying out of the euro for more than six years from the start date, 52% thought it would harm the UK economy, compared with 47% overall; 47% thought such a policy would harm their companies, compared with 36% across all sectors; and 59% thought staying out would put UK businesses at a competitive disadvantage (54% overall).
If the UK stayed out of EMU for 10 years or more, 27% of manufacturing firms said they would decrease investment in the UK.
The survey underlined the CBI’s policy on the euro, described by CBI president Sir Clive Thompson as `a clear yes, but a conditional one,’ if economic conditions are right. Ironically, the CBI’s endorsement of what is in effect Government policy came as ministers distanced themselves from a commitment to a referendum on the euro in the next parliament.
* Leader comment, p9