Shut Up and Pay

by Andrew Stuttaford

Via the Daily Telegraph:

European finance ministers will aim to agree a new €200 billion (£167.7 billion) loan to the International Monetary Fund as part of a deal to save the single currency. Three quarters of the money is expected to come from eurozone members, but Britain will also be asked to provide funds. Figures suggest European Union officials expect British taxpayers to be the second largest contributor. The Prime Minister has repeatedly promised not to provide any extra funding for the IMF for the specific purpose of saving the euro and Britain is already liable for £12 billion of loans and guarantees to Ireland, Greece and Portugal.

 Earlier this month, EU countries set today as the deadline to raise up to €200 billion in new loans for the IMF to deal with the eurozone crisis. Finance ministers will hold a conference call in an attempt to reach agreement on the war chest. An EU official said Britain was still expected to contribute €30.9 billion (£25.9 billion), leaving the country as the second biggest contributor to the new IMF fund behind Germany and equal with France. 

Merkel and Sarkozy have made it quite clear what they think of Britain. David Cameron must now make it clear that the UK will be “isolated” from this bailout.

 From the same report: 

Yesterday Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary [in Britain’s coalition government], when asked about Coalition tensions over the Prime Minister’s decision, admitted he regularly considered resigning from the Cabinet, and accused Mr Cameron of blocking the EU deal for “largely political” reasons. 

“Largely political reasons” is a reference to Cameron’s belated decision to pay some sort of attention to an electorate more euroskeptic than either the prime minister or the Business Secretary. Cable, a convinced europhile, has, like the rest of his species, not got much time for such vulgarity. 

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