By Tim Montgomerie
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A YouGov poll for The Sunday Times (PDF) has a clear message for David Cameron and George Osborne: Don't use our money to bailout the Eurozone.
Although 80% agree that it's important for the British economy that the Eurozone's debt crisis is solved there is strong support for a partial break up of the Eurozone and strong opposition to UK taxes being used to prop it up:
- 59% say Greece should be forced to leave the Eurozone if it can't pay its debts and only 19% believe that it should be kept within the Eurozone.
- In terms of the UK getting involved in another bailout 55% agree with the statement that "Britain is not in the Eurozone and has its own problems. We should not contribute any money to help solve the debt crisis". Only 26% agree that "An economic crisis in the Eurozone would have a major impact on Britain's economy, and Britain should contribute money to help solve the debt crisis."
The Government does not think that another Commons vote on IMF money will be necessary. It hopes that the 88% increase in facility already granted to the Fund earlier this year – and endorsed by the Commons despite a Tory rebellion of 32 – will not need to be topped up. The IMF may utilise more of this facility but that that won't require a vote from MPs.
Tory backbencher Mark Pritchard does not want the government to hide behind what he sees as technicalities however. “While the Government may win the technical argument over whether an IMF vote has already taken place," he told The Telegraph, "there is a danger of them losing the goodwill of the public. In all these decisions there needs to be democratic buy-in.”
Other Tory MPs feel it would be entirely inappropriate for IMF funds to support the €urozone crisis unless, for example, the likes of Greece and Italy devalue so that they can become competitive again. Any IMF lending is normally conditional on a more competitive currency policy but €urozone leaders are implacably opposed to reforming the one-size-doesn't-fit-all interest rate regime.
> Ruth Lea on ConservativeHome today: "Rhere is really one way to “save” the Eurozone and that is by establishing a fully-fledged fiscal union. The rescue packages announced to date cannot address the economic frictions and fissures in the Eurozone. Without fiscal union, the euro will surely fail."
On this morning's Andrew Marr Show, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said there is a "maximum of £40 billion we can make available to the IMF".