LDV poll: 83% of Lib Dems say break-up of Eurozone will be bad for Britain’s economy

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 560 party members responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

This weekend saw eurozone ministers agreed to lend Spain’s banks up to 100bn euros (£80bn) in the latest attempt to stave off economic collapse. We asked our sample of Lib Dem members for their views…

LDV asked: Thinking about the current problems facing the European single currency, the Euro, do you think it would be good or bad for Britain’s economy if the Eurozone broke up, and other European countries once again had their own currencies?

    5% – Would be good for Britain’s economy
    83% – Would be bad for Britain’s economy
    11% – Don’t know / No opinion

There’s little doubt among Lib Dems that any break up of the Eurozone would be bad for the British economy. However, your comments suggest a difference in the perception of the short- and long-term, with a number saying the immediate prospects are bleak, but that longer term it may be for the best:

In the short term both the uncertainty and clean up will be damaging to the British and European economies. Longer term, different countries competing on an equal basis without the inbuilt prejudice of a common currency will likely benefit the British economy compared to the current context.

The costs of Eurozone break up have been calculated and are horrendous. The Coalition must do everything it can to prevent this happening, including offering support to the most needy Eurozone countries, as has already been offered to the Irish, even if the Greeks have to default. In my view, this means taking the lead in proposing a new Treaty which deals with all the problems of the Eurozone in a credible way, which should be agreed and ratified by all 27 member states; this could have the side effect of limiting Franco-German hegemony. Such a treaty would reinforce the Single Market, ensure greater coordination on fiscal policy among all 27 states, with fiscal linkage closer among the Eurozone members than those outside the Euro.

I think it’s probably inevitable that Greece leaves, and it would probably be better if this were done in a managed way, rather than forced on the EU by events.

If the Euro goes I believe there will be protectionism which will set the EU back a long way.The euro has to become a proper currency with a central bank which issues bonds. This can only happen when all the countries are on a more equal footing. i.e. they pay their taxes and recognise that German prosperity is in part due to to the extravagance of some other nations.

In the long term, the Euro cannot last. Either the currency must be scrapped or the euro countries must become a single nation. This adaptation will hurt us and hurt the eurozone, but it must happen nonetheless.

The instability caused and the inevitable devaluations of the Drachma, Lira, Peseto would cause lasting damage for years to come. And I do wish people would stop talking about cheap holidays as if this were a good result of the crisis!

It will be bad short term but in the end it will break up…it basically isnt democratic (I cant get it in my head why in the end we are so pro the European Union…for me it symbolisis bureacracy and the rule of the ‘political class’

As constituted, it was a stupid idea built on fairy-dust. In the long run a break-up might be better all round, but the process is so terrifying that the theoretical long run is irrelevant at the moment.

There’s no option for ‘catastrophically bad’, but I’d have selected it.

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Some 560 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 28th May and 1st June.
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However, LibDemVoice.org’s surveys are the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country, and have in the past accurately predicted the winners of the contest for Party President, and the result of the conference decision to approve the Coalition agreement.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll
  • * Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

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    2 Comments

    • toryboysnevergrowup 11th Jun '12 - 10:22am

      I’d be worried about the 5% who think it would be a good thing and the 11% who cannot work it out. That said there are large numbers who think now would be a good (nay indeed better) time to leave the EU just at the time our trading partners are experiencing difficulties and would therefore not be particularly amenable to negotiating trade treaties.

      The real problem with the Eurozone is that Germany and others have to realise that if you are to have a fixed currency zone then it has to be accompanied by an active regional policy. But perhaps we shouldn’t be too critical as this is something that the Tory Party has failed to realise also applies in the UK other than for very brief periods during its 200 year existence.

    • Is democracy confined to the (LibDem – members only forum) ??
      Bite the bullet, and get a feel for real democracy, instead of this parochial navel gazing stuff.
      Ask the British public what they think about Europe, via a referendum.

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