Euro. The unofficial currency of the UK

Many years ago during a short holiday to Turkey. I found myself in the not too uncommon situation of visiting the local covered market. Dodging the traders, avoiding eye contact and attempting albeit failingly, to prevent my then lady friend from spending too long staring at the usual made for tourist baubles (Inevitably available in many similar, made for tourist markets the world over). While doing my damnest to prevent the alarmingly high probability of it costing us hard earned beer money and me having to make way in my case to carry said baubles back to Blighty.

Something that I carried away from that time (aside from the assorted Turkish Delight and memories of the dreaded Raki) . Is the memory of the local pricing system. Even though that particular sovereign nation had its own currency, it was at the time a failing one. The failure reflected in the willingness of traders to take foreign currencies over their own. In fact in preference. One trader explained the reasoning behind this  “Today I can buy my family a meal for £20. Tomorrow it will still be the same. If I use Lira. I will need more Lira tomorrow than today”

“Today I can buy my family a meal for £20. Tomorrow it will still be the same. If I use Lira. I will need more Lira tomorrow than today”

Recently the memory was brought back to me during a visit from a friend who had just returned from abroad. We were discussing the holiday when I mentioned the exchange rates and whether prices were different because of it. Which of course they were due to the low value of the pound against the Euro. But he had no intention of swapping his leftover Euros back to Pounds. And why? “Because by Christmas I’ll be able to get more for them [Euros] than I can today.”

“Because by Christmas I’ll be able to get more for them [Euros] than I can today.”

Which brings me to this. Why bother swapping them at all. If that is the situation. Save those Euros. Keep those dollars. Because if the likes of holiday makers and travelers are seeing the benefit of not swapping back to pounds. How long will it be until the rest of us do? How long will it be until the local market vendor would rather take Euros or Dollars than Pounds, for exactly the same reason?

So, in essence, I am wondering this. Britain has stuck to its guns as a non-Euro user since the Euro began. Brexit is happening in part due to the pride British people have for their Great British Pound. How ironic would it be if a Euro has become a better prospect in our pocket than a pound coin? How bitter will Brits be if the de facto yet unofficial currency of the UK becomes a foreign one? Or will we just be happy to have currency of any kind in our pockets to feed our families?

Could the Euro become the unofficial currency of the UK due to Brexit?

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