EUROSCEPTIC Conservative MPs urged David Cameron not to use taxpayer’s money to contribute to a bailout fund for Ireland last night.
The MPs spoke out ahead of a meeting of European finance ministers today amid speculation Ireland could ask for financial help. and leave British taxpayers with a bill of up to £7bn.
Most vocal was Bill Cash, chair of the Common’s European scrutiny committee and a well known Eurosceptic who said: “Not a penny of British taxpayers money should go to bail out Ireland.”
Cash claimed Ireland was being bullied by European institutions into accepting a rescue package.
Meanwhile, Tory MP Chris Heaton-Harris said: “We have had guarantees in the past that UK taxpayers would not bail out Greece and other Eurozone countries.”
Meanwhile, Tory MP Peter Tapsell warned the “potential knock-on effect” of the Irish crisis “could pose as great a threat to the world economy as did Lehman Brothers, AIG and Goldman Sachs in September 2008”
UKIP’s economics spokesman Tim Congdon went further still claiming Ireland fatally compromised its economic and political independence by joining the Eurozone in 1999. “The yields on its government bonds have been buffeted around in the last few weeks by announcements from German and French politicians, over which the Irish government has no control,” he said
“This is not the UK’s doing, and yet we will have to pick up the tab because of Brown’s
duplicity and Cameron’s weakness in the face of the Brussels massif.”
However, a Treasury spokesman said: “There has been no application to either fund and it is not helpful to speculate.”
As a member of the European Union (EU) Britain has to contribute towards a £50bn community bailout fund controlled by the European Commission. Britain is responsible for 13.6 per cent of the fund in line with its contributions to the EU. However, Britain will not have to contribute towards a further £372bn fund which Eurozone members are required to contribute towards the overall £637bn emergency fund created after the Greek sovereign debt crisis.