Thatcher warned Major about exchange rate risks before ERM crisis

National Archives: private warning came just five weeks into Major’s premiership and 20 months before Black Wednesday

Margaret Thatcher privately warned John Major that he was in danger of making a mistake of Churchillian proportions on exchange rate policy and risked pitching the British economy into recession, the cabinet papers reveal.

Her warning to her anointed successor as prime minister came 20 months before “Black Wednesday”, when the pound crashed out of the European exchange rate mechanism in September 1992.

Related: ‘Oh dear': John Major’s mild-mannered notes on briefing papers revealed

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