George Osborne confirmed this morning that Britain would provide around £7bn to support Ireland as part of the international rescue package requested last night.
His comments came as a British thinktank said UK taxpayers should not “cough up” £7bn to help bail out the Irish economy, and eurosceptic Conservative MPs also voiced their opposition.
To placate eurosceptic critics, the chancellor insisted that Britain would not be part of a permanent bailout mechanism for eurozone countries.
“What we have committed to do is to obviously be partners as shareholders in the IMF in an international rescue of the Irish economy,” Osborne told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “But we have also made a commitment to consider a bilateral loan that reflects the fact we are not part of the euro… but Ireland is our very closest economic neighbour.”
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