Small firms still sceptical of euro

More than 80% of members attending last week’s Federation of Small Businesses’ annual conference voted to keep sterling, suggesting that the government is failing to convince the small business community of the benefits of joining the single currency. In stark contrast to larger manufacturing firms, which are calling for a rapid adoption of the euro, […]

More than 80% of members attending last week’s Federation of Small Businesses’ annual conference voted to keep sterling, suggesting that the government is failing to convince the small business community of the benefits of joining the single currency.

In stark contrast to larger manufacturing firms, which are calling for a rapid adoption of the euro, smaller firms have moved even more strongly in favour of retaining the pound.

The poll result at the conference, held in Harrogate, is a significant increase on the 60% that supported retaining the pound at last year’s gathering. Members cited the stable UK economy, steady housing market and controlled level of consumer spending as the main reasons for keeping sterling

They claimed that the euro is too unstable and that joining the single currency could rock an otherwise steady economy.

`Since the euro’s launch it has frequently been embattled, with its value fluctuating considerably,’ said Norman Smith, East Anglian FSB chairman. `The whole idea was that it was supposed to be a stable currency.’

`This vote clearly shows that the small business community continues to have grave reservations about any further moves the government may make towards the UK adopting the currency,’ he added.