Ruffley holds Chancellor to account over Irish bailout

Monday, 22 November, 2010

Quentin Letts noted in his Daily Mail column [ click here for full text] that while George Osborne 'dealt with the Opposition's comments[he] was a great deal less persuasive when answering his Tory colleagues,' andmade reference to Mr Ruffley: 'Seldom has one felt such broad, determinedimpetus against Brussels. Not just the usual suspects, either. Andrew Tyrie,Michael Fallon, David Ruffley- these sort of senior, backbench Tories are notrent-a-quote Europhobes. And they are worried by the Cameron Government's lackof steel on Europe.'

Speakingafter leaving the Chamber, Mr Ruffley said:

'GermanChancellor, Angela Merkel, has proposed an EU Treaty change to create apermanent bailout fund for all twenty-seven EU countries. If passed, it wouldmean that the UK could be liable for more payouts if another EU country, likePortugal, Spain or Italy, faced economic collapse. I believe that this isunacceptable, especially at a time when the British taxpayer is feeling thepinch as the Coalition Government sorts out the last Government's financialmess.

Wedo not want the Chancellor to be dragged into a new bailout mechanism. That iswhy I asked George Osborne to assure MPs that if it requires an EU Treatychange to create a new permanent bail-out mechanism, the UK Government will useits veto.

Wedon't have to take this lying down. The Chancellor should tell Germany that hewill vote down the whole thing if they expect the UK to pay a single penny toPortugal, Spain or anyone else.

TheUK has a very strong negotiating position and if we box clever we can keep outof the whole thing. The Chancellor has it within his power to make sure that,when the negotiations are held in December, we are not liable for themismanagement of other Europeancountries. Angela Merkel should not get her way at the expense of the Britishtaxpayer.'

The full exchange between David and George Osborne can be read here: