So Britain is making a loan to Ireland of €7 billion, just like that.
We are told that it is in the National interest for Britain to do this. George Osborne has said that Ireland is a “friend in need.” It has been emphasised that Ireland is the only nation with a land Border with the UK, that Ireland’s own banks have 40% of the banking in Northern Ireland, that Ireland is Britain’s largest export market and that British Banks are owed a very large amount of money by Ireland. Yes, but…. …was that money not available from European or IMF sources in any event?
None of this properly explains why Britain loaned the money. What would have been the position if Britain had not loaned the money?
What “bad happening” to the UK has been prevented by lending the money?
What good has the Government achieved which could not have been achieved without lending the money?
When you consider all that Mr. Osborne and Mr. Cameron have said, we have not actually been told anything.
The political problem for the Government is that, whatever the answers to these questions, they can not be kept a secret for very long. Furthermore, the media will begin to fill the gaps in their knowledge with accusations. Already, Simon Heffer of the Daily Telegraph has written a very provocative piece accusing the Government of indulgence.
“…we must help the Irish because of the Coalition’s commitment to the European dream,” accuses Heffer.
So please, Messrs. Osborne and Cameron, let us have the full facts. Let’s have it out now.