Cameron calls on eurozone countries to sort out crisis

Prime Minister tries to head off another Tory rebellion over Europe

David Cameron told leaders of the 17 countries in the eurozone to put their own house in order as he tried to head off another Conservative rebellion over the European Union.

For the first time, the Prime Minister called on the European Central Bank (ECB) to play the key role in shoring up the single currency. In a Commons debate on last week's unsuccessful meeting of G20 leaders in Cannes, he said: "The world sent a clear message to the eurozone at this summit – sort yourselves out and then we will help, not the other way round."

He added: "It is for the eurozone and the ECB to support the euro, and global action cannot be a substitute for concrete action by the eurozone."

Mr Cameron played down the prospect of a further injection of British taxpayers' money to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which could also play a role in helping EU countries resolve their debt crisis. He said any additional guarantees or loans would be within the £40bn ceiling agreed by Parliament. But some Tory Eurosceptics expressed fears Mr Cameron was trying to mask Britain's possible role in a eurozone bailout. Douglas Carswell called for an end to "weasel words" and "sophistry" and told the Prime Minister to be "absolutely straight" about what the Government was doing with "other people's money".

Mr Cameron believes the IMF should support countries but not currencies. However, ECB proposals to use eurozone countries' reserves to bolster the bailout fund have run into stiff resistance from Germany's Bundesbank, which fears the inflationary effect.

The Prime Minister hit back at criticism over the £40bn ceiling, which Labour voted against in July. He accused Labour of being "breathtakingly irresponsible" and "putting politics above economics".

He told MPs: "It is in our national interest that countries across the world that are in distress are supported in their efforts to recover. The collapse of our trading partners – whether in the eurozone or not – would have a serious impact on our economy. Businesses would not invest, British jobs would be lost, families across Britain would be poorer."

But Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, accused the Prime Minister of being "complacent" and "out of touch". He insisted: "The sensible step of increasing resources for the IMF should not be done to make up for inadequate eurozone action."

He asked Mr Cameron whether he could "categorically rule out IMF resources being used indirectly in parallel to make up for insufficient funding" from the eurozone bailout fund.

Mr Cameron attacked some EU countries for supporting a financial transaction tax, dubbed a "Robin Hood tax", even though they knew there was little chance of it being introduced.

He said they should not "hide behind proposals for an EU tax as an excuse for political inaction on meeting targets".

Tory Eurosceptics challenged Mr Cameron over Britain's support for fiscal union among the 17 single currency members. Bill Cash asked: "How do you propose to achieve a majority to protect our interests in the context of the fiscal union you are advocating?"

Mr Cameron replied: "The fact is when you have a single currency that is quite dysfunctional, one of the ways it could be made more functional is to have greater fiscal union."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager - £70,000 OTE

£35000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Manager (Vice President...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Marketing Executive i...

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable