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Local resident’s view on the single currency

March 1st, 1997

A letter to the Editor of the Poynton Post which was published in March 1997.

It was written by Mrs Gill Bush in her capacity as the Honorary Secretary of the Campaign for an Independent Britain (NW Branch). The Poynton Post is the local monthly paper for Poynton in Cheshire.

Under Gill Bush’s letter was printed a reply from the MP for Macclesfield, Nicholas Winterton. This follows her letter below.

Like Mr Ellis (writing in your February issue) I feel that the result of a Referendum on the issue of abolishing the pound sterling could be a bit of a gamble.

In view of the promises to hold a Referendum which have now been made by the main political parties, there is now only one way to avoid a Referendum and that is for the Parliament of the day to vote against any proposed legislation to abolish our national currency.  To ensure such a Parliament is created at the General Election, the majority of consituencies must elect candidates (of whatever party), who pledge in advance they will vote against abolishing the pound.

I therefore ask Nicholas Winterton to use his column in the Poynton Post to make his pledge that he will vote against any legislation in the next Parliament to abolish the pound.  If he does not feel able to make this pledge, I shall not feel able to vote for him, although he has had my support in every General Election since I moved to this constituency in 1979.

In Park Lane on Saturday, 15th March, I and several colleagues from the North West Branch of the Campaign for an Independent Britain will be distributing leaflets and collecting signatures on a petition against abolishing our currency.  We look forward to meeting people of all views and discussing this important issue.

Mr Ellis might like to reflect that the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors are against abolishing the pound.  Their members employ many more British people than do the relatively few businesses which constitute the CBI.  Also in the published records of the CBI companies, Mr Ellis will find that despite what certain individuals may say, most of the overseas investment and trade of these companies is with non-EU countries, who are not going to abolish their currencies for the euro.

MP’s response to abolition of the Pound Sterling

In reply to the letter printed above by Mrs Gill Bush, I wish to state without equivocation or reservation that I am totally opposed to the abolition of the Pound Sterling, and as a Member of Parliament would oppose any proposal to do so.  I am also totally opposed in principle to our entry into a single currency because by entering into a single currency we pass over the threshold of entry to a Federal European state and lock the door behind us and throw away the key, which would inevitably permanently affect the constitution and sovereignty of the UK.

I am surprised that Mr Ellis would wish to delegate to members of the CBI, a number of them who could be foreign individuals, the right to decide matters relating to the future constitution and sovereignty of our country.  There is no doubt that the CBI does not represent the majority of business men and women in our country, an increasing number of whom, if my postbag is anything to go by, are strongly opposed to our entry into a single currency.

Following our Prime Minister’s speech in Brussels when he launched a savage attack on EU laws which he blamed for destroying millions of jobs, a number of business chief hindered by European red tape heaped praise on Mr Major.  Even the German based BASF chief, Dr Harald Mahmile, who employs 3000 people in the UK said, “It makes perfect sense to invest in Britain.  It is the best place in Europe; your workers perform better and are educated and skilled in a way that is not the same elsewhere.  We have told the German Governement for years what Mr Major is saying, but they won’t listen”.

Another leading European Industrialist, Eric Vine, Vice President of a Swiss engineering form said, “I wholeheartedly support the Prime Minister”.  Mr Vine, who employs 10,000 people in Britain added, “EU laws are more concerned with protecting jobs than creating them”.

I shall never support a move to a Federal Europe, or the transfer of our gold reserves to a central bank in Frankfurt and I hope that the statement I have made in this letter is of reassurance to Mrs Gill Bush and the many other people who have written to me about the future of the UK in the European Union.

Finally, the Prime Minister concluded a letter on the European Union with the words “More widely, I have made clear that, if the European Union proceeded down a federal route, I would not allow Britain to follow!”