James Forsyth James Forsyth

Treasury notes reveal Osborne’s position on euro bailouts

There has been much talk about what George Osborne told Alistair Darling about the EU bailout mechanism during those days in May between the election and the coalition being formed. But notes of a conversation between Osborne and Darling released today show that Osborne did urge Darling not to commit to anything that would have a lasting effect on the public finances.

Osborne also suggested that the UK government might abstain due to the fact that the country was between governments. To which Darling’s reply was that the Cabinet Secretary’s advice was that the government was the government until a new one actually took office.

It remains to be seen what Douglas Carswell, the Tory MP who has been pushing for the release of these documents, makes of the issue. But the note certainly dispels the notion that Osborne was in favour of signing Britain up to this bailout mechanism. 

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