Vox pop: So should Britain join the euro?

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"I'm pro-euro as I think it can provide only benefits and I do not agree that it will take something away from the nation. Integration into Europe, which is essentially what the euro will help us achieve, will add to our national identity. I would like to see transparency in government in keeping people aware of the issues."



YES: PREETHI NAIR, 31, NOVELIST

"I'm pro-euro as I think it can provide only benefits and I do not agree that it will take something away from the nation. Integration into Europe, which is essentially what the euro will help us achieve, will add to our national identity. I would like to see transparency in government in keeping people aware of the issues."

NO: SIR STIRLING MOSS, 73, FORMER FORMULA 1 RACING DRIVER

"I think the whole affair is absolutely appalling. If we joined, the Government would be letting down the country and I would no longer be a Briton in my own home. It would be an attack on patriotism and result in the loss of our sovereignty ... I am totally opposed to it and would feel the same, even if I was 103 years old."

NO: JOE HAINES, 75, HAROLD WILSON'S FORMER PRESS SECRETARY

"I think entering the euro will inevitably lead to political union and on the four occasions that was tried in the last century it ... led to war and division. The forces of nationalism are much greater than the forces of unification ... I don't object to it on dogmatic grounds but ... I don't think it will work."

NO: CLARISSA DICKSON WRIGHT, 55, TELEVISION CHEF

"I am not a pro-euro person and never have been. I debated against it in the Sixties and it has always seemed to be something that would not work for us. We would never get street cred if we joined because it's the most overloaded market in the world. The politicians have been behaving in their usual shifty manner. It's all just spin."

YES: IQBAL SACRANIE, 50, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN

"We're part of Europe and we should take a full part in all its processes. There is a lack of clarity in the Government's handling of the issue. The discussion seems to have been dominated by talks between No 10 and No 11, rather than debating the issue in the open and keeping the public informed."

YES: AMY JENKINS, 36, SCREENWRITER

"I don't think the issue has been handled decisively. It has been dragging on and on and for punters like myself it's not always clear what is actually going on or what is going to happen. It is important that the Government is absolutely certain it is the best thing to do before joining, but they really should deal with it more decisively."

YES: RABBI JULIA NEUBERGER, 53, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE KING'S FUND, A HEALTH THINK-TANK

"The euro is doing well and the fears about it have been ill-founded. The euro is a difficult issue for the Government but I don't think they have handled it too badly. The problem they have to contend with is the fear and dislike of European integration."

NO: IMRAN KHAN, 38, LAWYER

"As with most things, there has been more spin than substance. People are still confused about the issue because the Government itself is confused. The problem at present is that we are closer ideological neighbours with the US than we are with many of our geographical neighbours in Europe."

YES: PIERS CORBYN, 56, ASTROPHYSICIST AND LONG-RANGE WEATHER FORECASTER

"Brown has erected a mechanism called the five tests with which he can say 'no' at any point. I don't think anyone understands what these tests are and it is about time the Government presented them clearly. If they turn out to be 'road blocks' they ought to be removed."

YES: LOUISE CHRISTIAN, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER REPRESENTING BRITISH DETAINEES IN GUANTANAMO BAY

"The Government should make up its mind ... and set out its position rather than pretending there are economic tests to be met. I am concerned about the economic impact entry may have on jobs ... but ... I think it is unhelpful for us to remain outside Europe."

NO: EGON RONAY, 83, FOOD WRITER AND CRITIC

"We have traded with Europe for hundreds of years and nothing has changed in this country's situation. Entry into the single currency would not change the volume of trade. The risk is not if we do not join but if we join, because we cannot then leave ... It is a good thing to extend the decision-making time."

NO: STEVE LAMACQ, 38, BROADCASTER

"The Government needs to make up its mind. There should be a referendum but the process is being held up by a warring faction within the Government. If politicians are split, how are they going to be able to communicate to us clearly? They need to explain things in layman's terms and then let us vote."

DON'T CARE: BILLY BRAGG, 45, SINGER

"Do you think we control our own economic policy? Do you think we make our foreign policy? I think the whole debate is skewing the issue of how this country should be run. I'm more concerned about the NHS. I don't think the Government has much choice. The real five tests are what the Daily Mail or the News of the World thinks."

NO: NADEY HAKIM, 45, TRANSPLANT SURGEON

"I support Gordon Brown because if we get into the euro in the next few years each of us will lose a lot of money. If you are earning £2,000 today that will be worth 2,000 euros tomorrow. I know colleagues on the Continent who have lost money. For a consultation costing £100, you will not be able to charge 175 euros because it will seem too much."

NO: TREVOR BAYLIS, 66, INVENTOR

"The Government should have done more, sooner. Personally I'm against the euro because I'm proud to be a Brit, but also pro because of the economic implications and the convenience. But the Government should have the decency to ask people what they want. We should be given the chance to say what we think in a referendum."

YES: JENNY AGUTTER, 50, ACTRESS

"I think that joining the euro is inevitable, but the Government has clearly been dragging its feet. This has been going on for years but unfortunately it seems to be an easy issue for them to push aside, and so it still hasn't been dealt with. When you think about having to change notes to travel to Ireland, it does seem ludicrous we're so far behind."

YES: BEN SUMMERSKILL, 41, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF STONEWALL

"Gay people travel like everybody else and I'm sure they'd like not to have to change their money. There's an argument that the Government handled the euro question in the same way as the equalities question [and was] much too cautious. If they had been more robust in their first term, they could have followed whatever policy they wanted to."

NO: LORD BLAKE, 86, CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORIAN

"I am in favour of Britain retaining complete independence and if we go into the euro, it means we become dependent on the decisions taken by the European Bank in the end. I feel we need to keep a control of our own interest rates. I don't think the five tests matter very much ... It is actually a political decision and not an economic one."

YES: SAM WEST, 36, ACTOR

"Blair and Brown must stop the dilly-dally. I expect my politicians to be leaders and if I disagree with what they do, we vote them out. The problem is lack of decisiveness. Brown does not run the Treasury in a way easy to understand and this seems deliberate. It is more control freakery that's not acceptable."

NO: DEIDRE FORBES, 37, GROUP EDITOR OF 'THE VOICE'

"From the point of view of the British black community, some readers are scared by the concept of joining hands with Europe, especially given some 'racist' strains in France, Germany and Holland. Also, countries in the euro don't seem to be performing well and we should take our stance from this."

NO: GRAHAM SHARPE, 52, PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR, WILLIAM HILL

"The Government has made a pig's ear of the issue ... The population was led to believe [it] was going to happen, but they have fussed around and I get the impression they are back-tracking on a promise. I am all for a campaign for plain English so we understand where the Government stands."

YES: HARVEY GOLDSMITH, 57, IMPRESARIO

"At the moment, we are in the very strange position of being half in and half out of Europe. We need to obtain a full seat at the table before we can move forward. I personally think we should embrace the euro but there are too many unanswered questions and issues that have not been explained properly."

NO: JILLY COOPER, 66, NOVELIST

"The Government has treated the public badly over this matter and patronised us again and again. They treat it like it's some medicine that would be good for us. They should have been clearer from the start. Now, there absolutely must be a referendum: we have long been promised one and it's overdue."

DON'T CARE: NED SHERRIN, 73, BROADCASTER

"I try not to think about the matter at all. It's the most boring subject I have encountered. Hopefully, I shall be long dead before it comes into practice. It's not as if I have future generations to worry about.I do like watching politicians floundering about over the matter, but purely for entertainment purposes."

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