Letter: Baffled by the euro

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The Independent Culture
Sir: We pay 659 MPs about pounds 30m annually in salaries to make decisions on our behalf. Why, therefore, is it necessary to have a referendum on the one topic that the man on the Clapham omnibus probably knows next to nothing about - the economic pros and cons of joining the single currency?

In the only other referendum that this country has had, people voted "no" to Europe for a variety of nonsensical reasons such as that they thought they would be forbidden to buy traditional fish and chips, that they would not be allowed to take afternoon tea, or that they would be forced to become Roman Catholics. It would seem that similar nonsensical notions, rather than the good of the country, would colour the way in which people voted in the EMU referendum.

If not that, then they would vote in the way that Australo-American and Canadian newspaper proprietors, who appear to have a vested interest in keeping Britain at odds with Europe, told them to vote.

Some people would vote "no" because they consider that joining EMU would result in a loss of "sovereignty", but how can a country whose foreign policy and some of its domestic policy - on drugs, for example - is dictated by America call itself sovereign?

Perhaps we should scrap the idea of a referendum and let the politicians decide, on the best advice from industry and economists, whether or not to join the single currency. Why have a dog and do the barking yourself?

C CROFTON-SLEIGH

Sarre, Kent

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