A survey of UK marine businesses has found sterling is their biggest bugbear

Four out of five exporters in the UK marine industry are finding it impossible to compete with overseas markets because of the strong pound, a survey has shown.

The British Marine Industry Federation quizzed a sample of 53 companies in the UK and found that 80 per cent of them believed the exchange rate was restricting their ability to export more goods.

Only eight per cent of them felt that the foot and mouth outbreak had adversely affected sales overseas.

Federation analyst Tom Willis, said : ‘ Where would the boat industry be if the UK had joined the euro ?… the level of sterling is still the stuff of nightmares for the industry.’