Bosses at loggerheads over single currency
Thursday 24 April 1997
Lord Young, president of the Institute of Directors and a former Conservative cabinet minister, said: "I have never forgotten the way the CBI came out against all our trade union reforms in the 1980s because they wanted an easy time. It could be they are looking to support the single currency because it is the easy way out, because the pound is a problem."
If the CBI endorsed EMU it would be a "step in the wrong direction" because the IoD did not believe Britain should contemplate a single currency for the foreseeable future.
Tim Melville-Ross, the IoD's director-general, followed up Lord Young's criticisms, saying EMU would be damaging for the country and its members. Although it had not canvassed members recently, its last polls showed 70 per cent opposed to EMU. "It is becoming a big company versus small company debate," he added.
A number of large companies including Unilever, whose chairman Niall Fitzgerald heads the CBI's Europe committee, are strongly pro-EMU.
But Mr Melville-Ross said: "Big companies should look beyond their own corporate interests to the wider economy. It is a narrow-minded view when big companies say a single currency is good for Europe."
The CBI, however, sought to distance itself from reports that it was poised to come out in support of Britain joining the single European currency.
It confirmed it had embarked on a private internal consultation exercise which would lead to an official view on the euro by the summer. Three options were being put to members at council meetings in a briefing document written largely by Adair Turner, director-general, and Kate Barker, chief economist.
However, the CBI insisted one of the options was for the UK to stay out of monetary union "for the foreseeable future". The other two options are thought to be to join in the first wave of countries in 1999 and to wait on the sidelines before making a decision.
There are 13 regional CBI councils, though a spokesman said the decision would be made through "consultation" and would not be put to a vote.
Andrew Buxton, head of the CBI's economic committee, refused to be drawn on which way the consultation process would go. The CBI position is to keep the option to join open while expressing no opinion in principle either way. "I've no way of pre-judging the consultation process," Mr Buxton said.
IoD Conference, page 24
- 1 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Video shows what happens when lava is poured onto ice
- 5 Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
Germanwings crash: The poignant final photograph taken by Iranian journalist on doomed flight after watching Barcelona play Real Madrid
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Vote Ukip, says far-right group Britain First
iJobs Money & Business
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has arisen within th...
£50000 - £63000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / D...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Applicants must hold a valid SIA Door Su...
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - The C...