Fall in the pound could put euro back on the agenda

The reputation of the euro among the UK’s small business community has risen on the back of the recent slide in the value of sterling, a new survey has claimed.

A poll conducted by Yougov on behalf of Business for New Europe (BNE), an independent coalition of business leaders that supports reform in Europe, found that six out of ten businesses believed that the euro is a sustainable and long-term currency.

Only 19 per cent thought that the euro lacked the strength to consolidate itself as a major currency.

Of those businesses that responded, 56 per cent said that the euro has been a success over the past ten years.

The struggles of the pound have also boosted the standing of the euro, the poll said.

Some 42 per cent of respondents considered that the relative strength of the euro compared with sterling bolstered the argument for joining the single currency, while 32 per cent said that it did not alter the case.

With three-quarters of businesses seriously concerned at the weakness of the pound, 61 per cent believed it was important for the UK to keep open the option of joining the euro at some stage in the future.

Roland Rudd, chairman of BNE, said: “Business leaders appreciate the success of the euro over its first decade. It has defied the doomsayers who predicted failure. Furthermore the euro has become a viable and effective currency on the world stage, and is the official currency of 325 million people.”

Mr Rudd added: “The economic downturn and the move towards parity is making some people think again about the UK’s relationship with the euro. It is not the right time to join now, but if the fall in the pound not only continues but accelerates it may be necessary to consider it again.”