Hold a referendum – or just get out?
March 13th, 1996
A letter to the Daily Telegraph which was published on 13th March 1996.
The letter from Beryl Goldsmith (March 12th) and your editorial (March 8th) underline the crucial importance of the wording in any referendum.
In 1975 the Wilson government test-marketed several candidate questions to enable it to choose the one which it thought would be most likely to secure a Yes vote.
In canvassing on the streets, the Campaign for an Independent Britain has consistently found that if people are asked to sign a petition against joining the Single Currency, about 50% are inclined to do so. When it is explained that it means abolishing the pound as our currency, about 90% will sign. Strange as it may seem, until it is pointed out, many people do not see that the two are one and the same thing.
It is vital therefore that if a referendum is organized, those who fervently want our country to continue to exist as a self-governing nation, must insist that the question is essentially, “Are you in favour of abolishing the pound sterling as our national currency and using the new Euro-currency in its place?”