EMU Timetable Slipping

21 January 2000

Our latest MORI poll suggests that public opinion remains heavily opposed to EMU entry. The balance of opinion against EMU entry is little changed from late 1999, and well above the levels seen in 1998 and early last year.

It is not hard to see why public opinion has swung against EMU entry. The economy is doing fine outside EMU, and the Labour government is caught in a chicken-and-egg situation -- it is reluctant to give a strong pro-EMU lead while public opinion is against EMU entry, but public opinion probably will not shift unless the government gives a pro-EMU lead.

We suspect that the government may already have accepted that the timetable for an EMU referendum will slip from "soon after the next general election" to sometime further out. As a rough guess, the chances of EMU entry in the next 6-7 years probably are about 50:50, much later than for other EU countries and on a par with say, Hungary and Estonia.

UK -- Balance of Opinion for the Question: "If there were a referendum now on whether Britain should be part of a single European currency, how would you vote?", 1991 - January 2000

Economic & Market Analysis - Sterling Weekly Schroder Salomon Smith Barney [pdf format - 80K]

Technical details

Latest polling conducted between 13 and 18 January 2000. Sample size 2,034 people for latest survey.

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