Category Archives: Peter Bone

Ireland Has Three Choices

The Euro zone will only finance Ireland if its people vote ‘yes’ but, as the Prime Minister told me at Prime Minister’s Questions, Britain will act as a good friend of Ireland whatever they decide in their referendum on Fiscal Union, and require the EU to respect their decision.

I previously ensured, when Parliament considered the Loans to Ireland Act, that the Treasury term sheet provided for UK financial assistance to continue whether or not Ireland stayed in the Euro.

Enda Kerry describes Ireland’s referendum as being on whether to reaffirm Ireland’s membership of the Euro.

When I commissioned a Red C poll in December 2010 across the Republic of Ireland asking if Ireland should leave the Euro and re-establish a link with sterling over a third said ‘yes’, with the strongest support being amongst younger people.

Others would presumably support leaving the Euro to set up a separate Irish currency, even if that meant inflation and an inability to borrow abroad in the near-term, although it is interesting that even 43% of Sinn Fein supporters prefer adopting sterling to staying in the Euro.

In the House of Commons debate about the Fiscal Union treaty, I discuss the three options for Ireland:

  • stay in the Euro on Franco-German terms and pay back the ECB;
  • print money in a new Irish currency to replace overseas borrowing; or
  • negotiate arrangements to use sterling and the UK banking system

Back the Libdem Manifesto

Chris Huhne said yesterday that LibDems could not agree with Conservatives to bring power back from the EU to Britain. Thankfully, they don’t need to.

As I (at one with Peter Bone it seems) argued on Newsnight last night all the Coalition needs to do is carry through the LibDem manifesto commitment to have an In/Out Referendum on Europe. Then we can keep the Coalition together, both sides can make their case, and the people can decide.

We now have the perfect opportunity for a cost-effective referendum on November 15th 2012 when we will be voting for the first elected Police and Crime Commissioners. The case for a referendum on Europe is now becoming overwhelming. Add your voice by signing up at