» Monday, November 15, 2010


Asked whether the Prime Minister thought that it was in the British taxpayer’s interest to bail out Ireland, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that it was his understanding that there wasn’t a request being made.

The PMS added that he would not get into any speculation about Ireland.

When asked what the UK’s responsibilities were in the event of another member of the European Union getting into difficulties, the PMS said that there was something called the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism which was agreed by the previous Government. This provided a fixed sum of 60 billion euros and allowed guarantees to be made to the EU countries facing difficulties and we were part of that mechanism.

Asked what the UK contribution was to that fund, the PMS said it was around 12%. The PMS said that the guarantees were put in place and if a country defaulted, money was drawn down from the countries that were part of the mechanism.

Put that there was a second bail-out mechanism, the PMS replied that there was. The PMS said that this was the European Financial Stabilisation Facility, but we were not part of that facility.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought that the health of the Irish economy was important to the health of the British economy, the PMS replied that we had a very open economy and therefore the situation of other countries had an impact on the UK.

Asked if the Prime Minister was planning any talks with his Irish counterpart, the PMS said that there were of course ongoing discussions on the EU budget and the Prime Minister had been talking to a number of European colleagues in that context.

On whether the Prime Minister was concerned that a number of the measures introduced by the Chancellor here had first been put in place in Ireland, the PMS said that it would be wrong to draw a comparison between this country and Ireland. The PMS added that the Irish had taken some very difficult decisions and they would set out more detail on budget plans in the coming days. We supported them in the decisions they had taken.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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