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MPs who voted against using British funds to bail out failing EU countries

* Steve Baker
* Andrew Bingham
* Peter Bone
* Douglas Carswell
* William Cash
* James Clappison
* Philip Davies
* David Davis
* Nick de Bois
* Richard Drax
* Zac Goldsmith
* James Gray
* Gordon Henderson
* Philip Hollobone
* Bernard Jenkin
* Edward Leigh
* Anne Main
* Jason McCartney
* Karl McCartney
* David Nuttall
* Andrew Percy
* Mark Reckless
* John Redwood
* Jacob Rees-Mogg
* Bob Stewart
* Justin Tomlinson
* Andrew Turner
* Martin Vickers
* Charles Walker
* Dr. Sarah Wollaston

Graham Wood writes,

Any 'deal' negotiated by Darling, or any other government representative, [to bail out euro countries] is illegal. If Parliament has not been presented with, debated, and passed  the proposals then it is not binding upon the taxpayer. 

. . .The Bill of Rights says unequivocally: 'That levying money for or to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative, without grant of Parliament, for longer time, or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal'. 

Graham is absolutely right, and he and I wish that Conservative MP Douglas Carswell had said so.

But what Douglas Carswell did tell Parliament is excellent:

We are told that the Government’s priority is to cut the deficit, and rightly so—but why, therefore, are we assuming the vast liabilities of other countries? Having struggled for the past year to cut £6.2 billion from our public spending, why do we sign up to bail-out commitments twice as great, all in order to bail out a currency we chose not to join? We have been told that the bail-outs are to help our friends, but since when do we help a friend in debt by pressing upon them a high-interest loan? A year of bail-outs has not removed the debt burden from our neighbours and friends; it has merely increased it.

We have endlessly been told that by bailing out the countries in question we are rescuing the people of Ireland, Portugal and elsewhere. I am not sure that the people of those countries quite see those bail-outs as such a salvation. Like the people of Argentina a decade ago, they increasingly recognise that their economic well-being is being sacrificed by politicians in pursuit of grandiose dreams of monetary union. We have heard how these bail-outs will buy time, but time for what? Are they buying time for the bondholders to pass the weight of their losses on to the shoulders of taxpayers? Ministers have sought to reassure us that UK liabilities for the bail-outs will be limited until 2013, but we need to look at the sheer volume of debt that needs to be rolled over in the affected countries in the next 18 months —limiting our liabilities until 2013 is little comfort to those who care to look at the maths.

We have been told that Britain will get this money back, yet at the very moment that Greece hovers on default we proceed to lend £4.2 billion to Portugal. We have also been told that there is something unavoidable about the bail-outs. It is supposedly a deal struck by the former Chancellor at the ECOFIN meeting on 8 May last year, but I can find no evidence to suggest that we sought to challenge it in the ECOFIN meeting in the week that followed. If Ministers were really reluctant participants in the stabilisation mechanism, why did the Economic Secretary to the Treasury write on 18 July last year: 'While these decisions were taken by the previous government, this Government judges them to be an appropriate response to the crisis.'?

That does not sit entirely comfortably with the idea of Government reluctance to join in the bail-outs. If this Government were reluctant about the deal that they claim they inherited, why are we promoting the senior official behind it to be the next ambassador to Brussels?

We have sat here for too long listening to what Ministers tell us. We have been fed too many bogus assurances and too many reasons that have turned out to be excuses. The bail-outs are not only ruinous and quite possibly illegal; they are indefensible. They mean that although we may not be in the euro as a currency union, we have been dragged into it as a debt union. It is not enough simply to listen to further assurances given from the Dispatch Box as Ministers regurgitate what officials permit them to say.

This House needs to instruct the Government to act. It is not time for spoiler amendments designed to stop short of instructing the Government to act. It is not time for carefully calibrated wordplay intended to create the illusion of opposition to the bail-out when such opposition does not exist. There is only one way to vote today to halt the haemorrhaging of our cash. I urge colleagues to support the motion in the Lobby, and to reject the Whips’ efforts to water it down with this disgraceful amendment.

As you see from the list, a very few did.

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