Britons Decidedly Reject Adopting the Euro

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Very few people in Britain are interested in adopting the euro as the national currency, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 79 per cent of respondents would vote against this idea in a referendum.

The euro has been used in 12 European Union (EU) countries since January 2002. At the time, Britain, Sweden and Denmark were the only EU members that did not adopt the currency. At this point, the euro is the official currency in 16 of the 27 EU member states. The European Central Bank has set a fiscal deficit limit of 3.0 per cent to allow other member nations to adopt the euro. Slovenia began using the currency in 2007, Cyprus and Malta in 2008, and Slovakia in 2009.

On May 6, British voters participated in a General Election. The Conservative Party finished in first place with 36.1 per cent of the vote and 305 seats, followed by the Labour Party with 29 per cent and 258 seats, and the Liberal Democrats with 23 per cent and 57 seats. Conservative leader David Cameron took over as prime minister in a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, ending 13 years of Labour rule.

On May 26, Cameron discussed his views on the euro, saying, “I think we were right not to join the euro and I think we’re right to stay out of the euro and, actually, in our coalition agreement it rules out any joining of the euro in the current Parliament and I think that’s important. (…) When you have a single currency, you have to have a single interest rate and some need for more of a single economic policy across Europe and that has always been my concern.”

Polling Data

If a referendum on whether the United Kingdom should adopt the euro as its currency were held tomorrow, how would you vote?

In favour of the United Kingdom adopting the euro 9%
Against the United Kingdom adopting the euro 79%
Not sure 10%
Would not vote 2%

Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,984 British adults, conducted from May 21 to May 24, 2010. Margin of error is 2.2 per cent.