EUROSCEPTICS have told Prime Minister David Cameron to find a way to avoid stumping up billions for Portugal’s bailout costs.
Backbench Tory MP Douglas Carswell has said that the cost is unacceptable in the context of cuts at home: “There’ll be many MPs on their Easter recess this month explaining to voters on the doorstep why there are going to be cutbacks in public services to save a few million pounds. So why the heck are we handing over billions to Portugal?” he said.
Britain is liable for up to an estimated £4bn under article 122 of the Lisbon treaty, which was originally meant to aid other countries in the event of natural disasters. It has now been stretched to include economic catastrophes.
Tory MEP Martin Callanan has also said that the situation with Portugal is very different from Ireland’s predicament because Lisbon is a minor trade partner for the UK, unlike Ireland.