"We all had the feeling it could come apart in quite a serious way. As I saw it, it was a choice between Britain remaining in the liberal ﬁnancial system of the West as opposed to a radical change of course because we were concerned about Tony Benn precipitating a policy decision by Britain to turn its back on the IMF. I think if that had happened the whole system would have begun to come apart. God knows what Italy might have done; then France might have taken a radical change in the same direction. It would not only have had consequences for economic recovery, it would have had great political consequences. So we tended to see it in cosmic terms."
US State Department ofﬁcial recalling UK negotiations with the IMF in 1976, quoted in Sunday Times, May, 21, 1978.