Fleet News

Ford president gives Euro warning

BRITAIN'S failure to hold a referendum on joining the Euro is damaging the motor industry and threatening jobs, Sir Nick Scheele, Ford's president and chief operating officer has warned.

Speaking at the opening of the Confederation of British Industry Conference, in Manchester, he said that joining the Euro was vital financially, for quality of life and for economic and competitive security.

He told the conference: 'At this point, every minute of delay in adopting the Euro is detrimental to our employees, our business partners, our customers, and all those people touched by our presence - as well as to Ford and to the many other companies that need a stable and competitive landscape.

'Adopting the Euro would be in the best interests of the British people – financially, in quality of life, and in the security derived from an economically and competitively stronger UK.

'If nothing changes, I can only see a steady erosion in the competitive position of our British operations over time. It is a scenario that will play out with virtually every other company that exports or has Euro–based companies as prime competitors.

'Since 1998, trade in goods between euro-zone members is up 20% relative to GDP. At the same time, Britain's trade with EU countries has fallen relative to GDP. We are slipping further and further behind.'

He said as the issue was one that should be ultimately decided by the British people, it has to be decided by a referendum.

Earlier this month in the Queen's Speech, it was indicated that a decision would be made on whether to hold a referendum on the issue, if the Government's economic tests suggested it was viable.

Ford has called for Britain's entry to the Euro to take place at a fair value for Sterling of 0.75 Euros to the pound. This would require a substantial devaluation, as the Euro is currently only worth 0.62 to the Pound.

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