Guardian poll supports British help for Ireland

 Is this genuine, generous solidarity, the like of which would not be extended to any other country or a cunning Irish write-in?

Ireland bailout: should Britain foot the bill?

59.2% Yes 40.8% No

Bearing in mind… 

Ireland bailout: UK taxpayers could face £7bn bill

But the Wall St Journal plays down the threat to sterling…

Debt stresses in nearby Ireland therefore are unlikely to derail the pound’s outlook for now at least.

In fact, they are “something of a small positive for sterling relative to the euro given the stress is in the euro area,” he said.

Still, Ireland’s situation isn’t helping the U.K. outlook.

“It’s clearly a negative for the U.K.–Ireland is a very important trading partner for the U.K…and financial linkages are pretty important as well.”

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  • Drumlins Rock

    would 7 billion buy Donegal? or at least the north east corner of it, some nice land round Raphoe Lifford etc.

  • Rory Carr

    If we can move on from Drumlins Rock’s attempt at playing silly buggers….rather than altruism or “a cunning Irish write-in” being the reason, it might simply be a case of “accepting the things we cannot change” for, if Ireland were to be bailed out by the EU then the UK will have no choice other than to bear its share of that assistance. That is the price of membership of this family.

  • Mack

    It’s a £7 billion loan rather than a bill surely.

    The actual cost is either (possibly) the difference in interest payments lost by taking a lower than current market rate minus whatever value you put on the economic sovereignty lost by Ireland (theoretically zero ?)

    or

    should worst come to the worst and Ireland default, whatever portion of the loan with interest that doesn’t get repaid..

  • GoldenFleece

    So the UK will be at least partly responsible for saving the Republic if this works? Many bitter pills will have to be taken by some republicans if that happened. Oh how the mighty celtic tiger has fallen.
    Hope the Irish say thanks :-).

  • Greenflag

    What’s 7 billion ? UK taxpayers have been subventing a similar amount to keep Northern Ireland afloat for the past couple of decades . The eh price/cost of membership of the family .

    Once upon a time England bailed out Scotland circa the 1700 infamous Darien bubble burst . The Scots took the dosh and haven’t looked back since or have they ?

  • Drumlins Rock

    Rory, more seriously can you see this happening the other way round if the boot was on the other foot? some chance, Remember the UK as a net contributor to the EU has already paid a hefty amount towards Ireland’s initial boom, the real one, and now has to help bail out the bust of the false one.
    Saying that the UK should help out a near neighbour, but it has to be a bit more realsitic than the current proposals.

  • Dan Sullivan

    How is a 7 Billion loan going to cost the UK 7 billion? Fact is that interest rate is higher than the current BoE rate so they will make money from it.

  • GoldenFleece

    The South chose to leave that family a long time ago, they are not entitled to British priviledges.

    Personally I don’t think would should help, not because I want to see ROI fail, I really dont, but the UK is broke enough as it is.

    And if the money is just being used to bail out Ireland’s bank, feck that.

  • Dewi

    “On Friday, the finance ministers from Europe’s biggest economies, including Britain, pledged their support to the debt-laden country. David Cameron signed a joint statement giving an assurance that the EU would step in to guarantee 100% of Irish debts if the country is unable to tap international money markets for extra funding.”

    Why, therefore, are Irish Government Bonds trading at 8.1%? And how do I buy some?

  • JR

    I suppose it is about the same per capita as the north receives on an annual basis. If they don’t mind funding the north annually why should they mind giving their neighbors a once off pull out.

    I have to say though that it is a surprisingly positive endorsement of Anglo Irish relations.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    More British ‘oppression’… lol

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Worth bearing in mind if the Republic returns to being a third world country we’d probably have thousands streaming across the border to take advantage of living in one of the world’s leading nations.

    Probably best to try and keep them in the Republic so I back the UK helping out.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom.

    The Republic chose to go it alone many moons ago.

  • alanmaskey

    Ireland being a basket case would pose a serious threat to British political and economic intersts. British retailers and similar interests continue to make ground in green post box territory. Britain remains the same: no permanent allies, only permanent interestas, one of which is dominating Ireland, its first colony.
    THis bailo ut will effectively end Irish economic sovereignty. No more silly referenda, only lowns like Mary Robinson, Bono and Mary McAleese to amuse their betters.
    Liike its basket case African sister countries, England canot blame perfidious Albion for everything – except foisting Gerry Adams, the fool of West Belfast on them.

    Haughey and Callelly
    And Aherne and Burke
    Now and in time to be,
    Wherever green is worn,
    Are changed, changed utterly:
    A terrible beauty is born.

    The Gombeen Republic is going to die. And the vultures of OIRA and PIRA are circling to peck at the remains.

  • I have to say though that it is a surprisingly positive endorsement of Anglo Irish relations

    It could all change, unfortunately, when many office workers go online over the lunch hour. Furthermore, the Guardian is a left-leaning newspaper. Back in May, when the decision was made by Britain to play its part in underwriting the scheme, the decision was made by Alasdair Darling (his last act as Chancellor).

    I dont think the decision by Darling was against British interests. The UK has an interest in Europe keeping the Irish Banks afloat. A huge amount of the money owed by Irish Banks is owed to UK banks.

  • Aldamir

    Unfortunately the only solution that our political masters have been able to provide for the debt crisis is to borrow more money to pay off the debt. It seems to be a debt version musical chairs and at some stage the music will stop and somebody will be left without a chair to sit on.

    I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be an Irish bailout, just reflecting on the fact that we have had a Greek bailout, then if we have an Irish bailout next we will see a Portuguese bailout, then possibly a Spanish one, then who knows where.

    Each bail out is more expensive than the last and eventually the money will run out for it. Instead of accepting and trying to make policy for this reality the EU is hoping that each bailout would be the last.

    The history of the crisis so far shows us that there is a lot more to run with this on a worldwide basis.

    The collapse of Lehman Brothers leading to a banking panic, the Irish solution of transferring the banks liabilities onto the state seemed like a good idea if the sole problem was lack of confidence. Unfortunately the problem is much bigger than a lack of confidence in the system. The banks underlying financial situation is basically bankruptcy. Market confidence was basically a delusion which kept the banks going. When reality bites the confidence goes.

  • Mack

    Well if we don’t have to pay it back. Thanks a mil!

    So long suckers 🙂

  • Anon

    Could I see it happening the other way? Er, yes. Didn’t Ireland contribute to the Greek bailout?

    Silly bugger about right here.

  • Rory Carr

    Yes. If the boot was on the other foot and the UK were in deep dodo and the RoI bouyant, then, as an EU member they would be required to contribute their due share of any UK bailout. It is not a matter of choice, each member state is obligated by the rules of membership.

  • Rory Carr

    You’re thinking of the wrong family, GF. In the previous one Ireland was a captive child. In the EU family both the UK and the RoI are willing partners sahring te benefits that accrue and obligated by the conditions of membership so whether or not you think that the UK should help, if help is given then the UK are obligated to make their due contribution and “Feck that” just won’t be good enough.

  • At today’s prices, I’d say you’d get a fair bit more than that…..

  • pippakin

    Rory Carr

    Not sure about this. The UK is in the EU but not in the Euro. Is that the same?

  • Mack

    Britain has a $230 billion exposure to Irish bank debt.

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/uk-banks-exposed-for-230bn-on-loans-in-ireland-2227308.html

    A loan of £7bn will trigger an additional €60bn loan for other European countries to the Irish state which will pump funds into the Irish banks that will enable them to repay British banks.

    The British banks get the money, the British taxpayer get loan repayments and the Irish taxpayer gets the bill!

  • Mack

    What would we (Irish taxpayers) get for the $230 bn of British debt we’re underwriting ?

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/uk-banks-exposed-for-230bn-on-loans-in-ireland-2227308.html

  • JR

    Hi Stephen,
    4 Counties in the north chose to remain in the UK, the other two were annexed.

    While in the Uk. Personally I don’t believe Northern Ireland is not integral part of the Uk. It is an artificially maintained problem area that has resisted pulling its weight for decades. I also have much more in common with the people of louth and monaghan than those of Yorkshire of Devon and of London who are paying for my Health and paid for my education.

    I feel a bit like kid who went with his parents to stay with relatives for a few days. Then the parents don’t want to go home because the food is good and they are living for free. The relatives don’t want to kick out their guests but would be glad to see the back of them. No matter how long the kid and his parents overstay their welcome and no matter how uncomfortable the kid is with the situation, they will only go home when the parents decide or when they are eventually kicked out. Sorry for the cheesy analogy but just a thought.

    Still as I say the poll reflects well on the attitude of the British public to Ireland.

  • Dr Concitor

    I was wondering about that as well Pip. Looks like there is a £50bn rescue fund set up by the EU in May which the UK has contributed to and Ireland can use. Members of the Euro zone have a much larger fund which the European Central Bank can draw on. The UK has no part in this.The ECB is supporting the Irish banks to the tune of 200bn Euro.
    It is in nobody’s interest, least of all the people of NI, that the Irish economy collapses

  • John D

    Taking a slightly different angle, I notice that it’s being asserted that the republic is one of the UK’s top export markets — Britain exports three times more to Ireland than to China, someone said in the Guardian today. Where do those figures come from? And how much of it is cross-border trade from NI?

  • dwatch

    Finland seen strongly opposing Ireland EU bailout

    By Luke Baker
    BRUSSELS |

    Finland opposes Ireland tapping the EFSF or other EU mechanisms to help its banks.

    One euro zone source said that if Ireland asked for help in order to bail out its banks, then it should be forced to put up collateral against any loans.

    The source said Ireland’s government had assets worth over 100 billion euros which could be securitized and used as collateral against an EFSF loan if one was requested.

  • alanmaskey

    Showdwon gives the impression of an evenly fgought fight, along Ali-Foreman-Frazier lines.
    The Irish are going to be told the terms, much the same way General Jodl and the German High Command were in 1945.
    Gerry Adams sticking his opportunistic nose in just brings it from wherever to the truly ridiculous. The gravy train is over Gerry. Get a job.

  • john

    Hang on a minute how can Britain bail out Ireland when it is in even bigger trouble – 5 trillion of debt (makes 80 billion look like pennies). The vast majority of the population are public servants (tax consumers). Britain like most of the rest of Europe doesnt produce anything so in reality has very little tax income. If we look at the real figures the cost of welfare alone is as much as the income from tax, thats before we start worrying about health and education! Years of wasting money by none other than Gordon Brown has messed this country up and it will take generations to fix not a budget or 2. By the way notice how none of the inept bankers or politicians are held responsible for their actions – disgrace.

  • slug

    I think that, in retrospect, it was a mistake not to include Donegal in Northern Ireland. So if there was ever an option to let them have a vote on joining us, I would support it. Something for the future, however.

  • pippakin

    Dr Concitor

    Agreed, but since the UK is, if possible, in even more shite than we are I just wondered if there was some ‘small print’ the rest of us had not been told.

    It is in the UKs own interest to assist Ireland at this time.

  • pippakin

    Mack

    Feel better now…

  • joeCanuck

    To get back to the question “Is this genuine, generous solidarity…”;
    I have travelled widely around the world and found all peoples to be generous in sharing what they have, even if it’s only patience in giving out local knowledge.
    But I imagine there is also a great deal of self interest involved.

  • Glencoppagagh

    “The vast majority of the population are public servants (tax consumers).”

    Where on earth did you get that from. It isn’t true even in NI.

  • Glencoppagagh

    Only the bit east of Letterkenny, please. The rest is worthless.

  • joeCanuck

    Depends on what measure you use. When the sun shines, west coast of Donegal is a wonderful place to be.

  • cannot find moniker

    The South will take all it can get and they can throw in the odd golden fleece. No republican or nationalist will find it a bitter pill to swallow.In fact We Want More and more and more keep working hard fergie and fleecie we can take it keep feeding us those bitter pills lol.

  • qwerty12345

    Stephen, if Northern Ireland is so integral to the UK why was Peter Robinson in Dublin not so many moons ago pleading that the south not dump its northern assets onto the market?

    Heres the news Stephen, Ireland is one economic unit. Ask unionist businessmen in border areas how they are doing with less Euro coming across the “border”

  • Greenflag

    The South chose to leave that family a long time ago, they are not entitled to British privileges.’

    I was’nt suggesting we were . Merely pointing out that NI was entitled ,being a member of the eh ‘family’ Ireland is a member as is Britain of the larger EU family and anything Ireland gets from the Britain will be as a result of the common membership .

    Anyway Ireland will have to take the bitter pill ironically on the same day that David Drumm former gangster in Chief of Anglo Irish faces creditors court in Boston . I wonder where American and British bankers seek asylum ?

    Today Ireland -tomorrow Portugal and then Spain and then Italy . The ‘international bond merchants ‘ care only that they get the maximum return on their investments – the political consequences appear not to bother them the least .

    But then we Irish more than most should know how ‘laissez faire ‘ works in practice as opposed to in theory . Just watch the ‘free market’ provide a million mew private sector jobs in the Uk over the next three years or observe how the USA will create 20 million jobs in the private sector before Mr Obama leaves office 🙁

    This crisis is more than the crisis of Greece, Ireland , Portugal or Spain or Italy or the Euro . It’s the failure of Anglo American style capitalism to address the failure of trickle down economics in their economies and the consequent gouging out of economies by the spreading contagion of a financial services sector which through irresponsible and excessive greed and with the permission and abettance of governments everywhere was allowed to run riot through the world’s financial markets in search of another billion or two 🙁

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “4 Counties in the north chose to remain in the UK, the other two were annexed.’

    And I’m sure the good folks of Fermanagh and Tyrone are grateful at this point in time.

    “While in the Uk. Personally I don’t believe Northern Ireland is not integral part of the Uk. It is an artificially maintained problem area that has resisted pulling its weight for decades.”

    Anything to do with a terrorist campaign which decimated the economy or the parts of the country where claiming benefits is seen as a career choice (west Belfast, Londonderry, Strabane, etc)?

    http://alturl.com/9896s

    “I also have much more in common with the people of louth and monaghan than those of Yorkshire of Devon and of London who are paying for my Health and paid for my education.”

    The majority in NI would be the opposite.

    “I feel a bit like kid who went with his parents to stay with relatives for a few days. Then the parents don’t want to go home because the food is good and they are living for free. The relatives don’t want to kick out their guests but would be glad to see the back of them. No matter how long the kid and his parents overstay their welcome and no matter how uncomfortable the kid is with the situation, they will only go home when the parents decide or when they are eventually kicked out. Sorry for the cheesy analogy but just a thought.”

    Maybe the parents should stop freeloading and move back ‘home’ or else actually help with some ‘cooking’ or ‘housework’ to contribute??

    It’s what the good folks in North Down, Castlereagh, Lisburn, Ards, etc do. It seems the people in Nationalist areas of NI do not do likewise.

    http://alturl.com/376wz

    “Still as I say the poll reflects well on the attitude of the British public to Ireland.”

    Well I know a majority of English, Scottish and Welsh people now favour Northern Ireland remaining within the UK.

    http://alturl.com/qy5er

    Is that what you’re talking about?

  • Greenflag

    ‘And the vultures of OIRA and PIRA are circling to peck at the remains.’

    With 7% of the vote for the latter and 0.0005% for the latter
    the Gombeen republic is assured of survival .

    We just need to exchange our Finance Minister for his German equivalent the wheelchair bound Herr Schauble for a few years . But we have to move fast . I read the Americans are thinking of offering both Bernanke and Geithner to the Germans in exchange for Herr Schauble as part of a free trade or should that be barter deal !

  • Munsterview

    So is the anti-Repuplican agenda….. Maskey unmasked….get a life.

    alanmaskey ?

    Maskey unmasked got to you ? Excellent ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  • alanmaskey

    Ireland is one of Britian’s major trading partners, even though she has no interests there (Ha ha). So it is in Britain’s interests to have if not a peaceful Ireland at least one that can only hope to cause an occasional hiccup on the rugby field.
    Ireland has not a problem; the EU has if panic sets in. Plus the Irish have been a pain, voting the wrong way in referenda and opening their mouths. A few million are not supposed to upset applecarts that way.
    Ireland’s problem is short term bond rates. They cannot be fixed without giving the markets confidence. Though sidelining quasi criminal gangs like PSF helps, the markets need signals that Ireland will be able to meet her commitments.
    As well as reigning in the unemployable who vote PSF, the Irish government will have to sell off assets and sack lots of worthless excess workers and, hopefully, give them the boat fare to Hollyhead after they get through their Christmas cheese. It is the standard IMF solution and there are no surprises there.
    Ireland will probably have to commit front line troops to future acts of EU/US aggression.
    We are witnessing the end of Irelande’s sovereigny. Perhaps, as James Connolly said, we will rise again. As long as we have the various political monkeys of PSF etc on our collective backs, that will never happen.

  • Aldamir

    Somebody has to get a haircut soon…..

  • pippakin

    Aldimir

    What

  • JR

    Sorry my post at 12.25 should read

    I don’t believe ireland is an integral part of the UK.

    Didn’t see the double negative earlier

  • john

    I think 81% of Northern Irelands current workforce are tax consumers!!!. Doesnt take a genuis to work it out that its unsustainable but each government just buries their heads in the sand – not on my watch mentality

  • Reader

    querty12345: Heres the news Stephen, Ireland is one economic unit. Ask unionist businessmen in border areas how they are doing with less Euro coming across the “border”
    If Ireland was a single economic unit there wouldn’t be a systematic movement of Euro across a line on a map.

  • Drumlins Rock

    ok we will take it for 2 weeks a yr then 🙂

  • lamhdearg

    7 billion i piss that on a sat night.

  • JR

    The economic wonderworld that exists here is partly due to the troubles and partly the sitiuation where you are equally well off working a low paid job to being on the dole. But the state of northern ireland has been a net sponger since its foundation. The border cuts any businesses natural catchment area by two and introduces layers of red tape which smother business. The system is set up for me to sell my products easier in the East of england than a few miles away in Dundalk.

    The only type of business that the border helps is smugelling.

    “It’s what the good folks in North Down, Castlereagh, Lisburn, Ards, etc do. It seems the people in Nationalist areas of NI do not do likewise.”

    I would like you to show me one shred of evidence that a nationalist coming from the same economic background with the same educational achievement is more likely to be on the dole.

    “Well I know a majority of English, Scottish and Welsh people now favour Northern Ireland remaining within the UK.”
    44% is not a majority

  • Aldamir

    pippakin, the haircut reference is to use the fashionable terminology for selling/cashing in your investments at a loss.

    The current strategy is to attempt to guarantee bank debts, so that those to whom the banks owe money (account holders, bond holders etc.) get their money back. The reason for this is obvious, if you think the public are angry now when their jobs are being cut and their wages lowered, just think of what they will be like when they are told that their savings and their pension funds are drastically reduced in value, while all their personal debts remain.

    This is why Angela Merkel, if I understand her correctly, was suggesting a managed default, a bit like a personal bankruptcy where creditors don’t get all their money back, but may get a few pence in the pound, thereby sharing the pain between the banks debtors and the banks creditors.

    Unfortunately the mere mention of this solution sent the markets crazy, which has led to the current pressures on Ireland.

    This solution is not pretty, in fact it will be nothing short of a disaster. The problem is, however, that if the current situation continues the more likely outcome is an even bigger disaster, an unmanaged default. This could leave the existing account holders and bond holders with nothing. Imagine going to take money from the bank and being told, sorry your bank account has disappeared, but sorry again you’ll still be expected to pay your mortgage of we’ll foreclose.

    In other words the current situation, especially in the Eurozone, could become as bad a disaster for the average person as German hyperinflation. The destruction of virtually all personal wealth.

    So far as I can see that’s how bad the situation is. I hope that some of those more expert in economics can tell me where my analysis is wrong, because I hope it is; but that’s the way it looks to me.

  • pippakin

    Aldamir

    Thanks for that and no it is not pretty but as far as I can tell, (I’m no expert, not even close) I think you are right.

  • aquifer

    The UK would lose heavily if the ROI economy fails. Better pay extra to cut corporation tax here and get things moving. Or the UK could buy some ROI bonds at 4% to scare the crap out of the speculators.

  • qwerty12345

    Reader wrote: If Ireland was a single economic unit there wouldn’t be a systematic movement of Euro across a line on a map.

    The “border” is an optical illusion. I live right on it, and I see whats happening to business. I think what you are talking about is politics, im talking about geography and the simple natural movement of money and workers. For most who have lived along the “border” all their lives I assure you it means very little.

    Southern money has made life in Fermanagh and other places pretty sweet these last years. Thats over now, and it amazes me that there are some in the north who seem to rejoice at this.

  • qwerty12345

    Stephen I am amused by your belief that claiming benefits is a solely nationalist pastime.

    And anyway, why should ANYONE who is legally entitled to benefits be castigated for claiming them. Very very odd.

    I dont see you crying about the billions annually that keep Northern Ireland’s “economy” afloat but instead you want to have a go at those on benefits.

    For your information the Social Security Agency in NI estimates fraud as costing 0.4% of their expenditure. Thats not a lot really is it?

    I also suggest you look at this – it’s a list of those convicted of benefit fraud here in March 2009 http://benefitfraud.blogspot.com/2009/04/march-benefit-fraud-convictions-in.html I think you will agree that both sides of the community are represented and Im willing to bet any monthly tally will show the same.

  • JJ Malloy

    First of all it’s a loan, right?

    I say F it, let’s get out of the EU and get a British Isles only currency. It makes more sense.

    The EU is just a way for Germany to control Europe again and has been nothing short of a disaster for ROI.