Tycoon plans anti-euro campaign

A MULTI-MILLION pound campaign against Britain's entry to the European single currency is to be launched by Paul Sykes, the millionaire Euro-sceptic businessman.

Mr Sykes has vowed to "use every means possible" in a one-man crusade to persuade the public to vote "No" in a referendum on the euro. The former Tory parliamentary candidate, who is worth pounds 250m, will mastermind a nationwide publicity blitz that is likely to dwarf any positive propaganda for the single currency.

Taking on the mantle left behind by the late Sir James Goldsmith and his now defunct Referendum Party, Mr Sykes will use newspapers, posters and the Internet to warn of what he says are the dangers of monetary union. To beat broadcasting restrictions he plans to send campaign videos to groups and individuals.

The campaign will begin on 1 January next year, the starting date for the single currency across Europe, and will last "as long as it takes".

With the Government committed to a referendum in the next Parliament if it decides to join European monetary union, the Sykes campaign could stretch for at least four years, costing millions, although he declines to give a specific figure.

The campaign is reportedly being planned with "military precision" and was sparked by polls commissioned by Mr Sykes that found that 93 per cent of the British public wanted more information about the euro.

Echoing the presidential campaign in the United States of the billionaire Ross Perot, Mr Sykes will use his personal fortune to fund the campaign and has prepared a network of supporters across the country to spread the message.

"I'm going to do everything I can to stop this and I will raise hellfire to get the message across. I owe that to the British people. There is no point in being a rich man if you've lost your nation," he said.

Mr Sykes, who made his fortune from computers and property, will detail his plans next month to guarantee maximum impact ahead of all the party conferences.

He is understood to have lined up senior economists from every one of the 15 European Union nations to argue the case against the euro, as well as MEPs from the Continent who admit that its adoption will mean a federal United States of Europe.

Other big American names are also part of the Sykes team. Mr Sykes denied that he was funding independent candidates to stand against Tory candidates in next year's European elections, and claimed that the single currency issue was much more important to him. "There never has been a country that doesn't have its own currency. I believe the time has come for the British people to be made aware of the disaster that the euro would be," he said.

"We are all geared up to go live on January 1, when we will press the button and the campaign will start. We're going to use every means possible to get our message across. We will use the media, the Internet, everything.

"I want to make clear that we are not a party. We will be looking to spread information, factual information that we believe the people have a right to know."

The tycoon said that he had given up on party politics, but was determined to ensure that every voter knew the implications of joining the single currency. "I'm still a Conservative, but the Conservative Party is no longer a conservative party," Mr Sykes said.

"This is about telling the man in the street what is going on. The only vote that the people have got is in this referendum. You are either for it or against it, it's as simple as that.

"We are all worried about losing British jobs, but with the euro you are in for dynamite. Miners in Barnsley and steelworkers in Sheffield can't be expected to up sticks and move to Spain. But that's what the single currency is all about. I have got to oppose this ever-creeping federalism."

Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
world cup 2014
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice