Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Is the UK in any way liable to pay up for the Greek bailout?

Assurances were given to Parliament by the Prime Minister (David Cameron) and other Ministers that the UK would not be obliged to contribute to any financial "bail-outs" under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).  On this see (1) House of Commons - EU (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Bill and (2) the similar House of Lords Paper. The resulting UK legislation is the European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Act 2012See also David Cameron's statement to the House of Commons on 20th December 2010.  It is possible for the UK to decide to assist in any bail-out but, according to those Ministerial assurances, it is not compulsory. 


It is reported that the EU is now "demanding" that the UK joins in the Greece rescue package - Telegraph 14th July 2015 - where it is stated that: "EU officials this morning said that deal – arguably Mr Cameron’s greatest diplomatic coup in Europe to date – had been assessed by lawyers as nothing more than a “political” accord with no legal force." 


Certainly there appeared to be political accord that the UK would not be drawn in but I have not been able to pin down any EU documentation clearly stating either that the UK is legally exempt or that there is a liability to pay.  Such documentation may exist and, if so, I would be grateful if any reader is able to supply a link to it.  


The rescue deal for Greece is, to say the least, draconian with very short timescales for the Greek government / legislature to act - see the Euro Summit Statement of 12th July 2015.  It even requires Greece to put in place a new Code of Civil Procedure by 22nd July 2015.

Additional Comment:


Brian Barder's Website 14th July - The Greek 'settlement': the lesser evil, but still a disaster 


What is the European Stability Mechanism?  - BBC 7th July 2015

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