Loans to Ireland Bill

Part of Loans to Ireland Bill (Allocation of Time) – in the House of Commons at 3:13 pm on 15th December 2010.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch 3:13 pm, 15th December 2010

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his observations.

None of my constituents, particularly those in the business community, understand how or why we can justify increasing our national debt to help Ireland. The line is that the Irish are friends in need, but I remind the House that there is a strong argument to suggest that the Irish Government exacerbated the original banking crisis. When we had problems with Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock, and our Government limited the deposit guarantee to £50,000, the Irish increased their guarantee to all deposits. That helped the run on Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock accounts, thereby developing our banking crisis. We did not get much help from the Irish when we were in need in that situation.

We must also not lose sight of the fact that the Irish people have received enormous sums of British taxpayers' money through our membership of the EU. We make big net contributions to the EU, and a lot of that money was subsequently pushed into Ireland, enabling the Irish people to sustain for a time a much higher standard of living.