HC Deb 27 January 1978 vol 942 c841W
Mr. Spearing

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the change in the exchange rate has been against the "snake" since the fourth quarter of 1976.

Mr. Robert Sheldon

The "snake" is a scheme under which the countries involved agree to maintain the cross rates between their currencies within a margin of 2½ per cent. around declared central rates. The snake itself, therefore, has no exchange rate against other currencies. But it is possible to calculate the percentage change in the value of sterling against the individual currencies involved in the snake, and to find the mean of these changes. On this basis, from average values in the fourth quarter of 1976 to closing values on 24th January, the pound appreciated by 34½ per cent. against the deutschemark, 5.6 per cent. against the Dutch florin, 4.4 per cent. against the Belgian franc, 14.9 per cent. against the Danish crown, and 15.4 per cent. against the Norwegian crown. The mean percentage appreciation of sterling against these currencies is thus 8.7 per cent. The Swedish crown, which left the snake in August 1977, has been omitted from these calculations. The Danish and Norwegian crowns were devalued from their previous central rates by 3 per cent. in April 1977 and by 5 per cent. in August 1977.

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