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Cameron to say UK's 'safety' is paramount in eurozone crisis

Category: Business

Published: 17th May 2012 01:04:53

David Cameron is to insist it is his job to "keep Britain safe" whatever the fate of the eurozone.

In a speech to business leaders in Manchester, the PM is expected to say the euro area is at a "crossroads" and could go into "unchartered territory".

Greece's inability to form a government able to push through austerity plans has led to talk of it exiting the euro.

The PM will insist the UK is on the right economic course. Labour say the recession is all the coalition's fault.

In recent days, government ministers have used increasingly strong language to describe the political deadlock in Greece and its damaging impact on other European economies.

At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Mr Cameron said the eurozone either had to resolve its problems quickly or face a potential break-up.

In a speech to business leaders in the North West of England, the PM is expected to return to the theme - warning the problems in Greece and the survival of the euro are a "crisis that never really went away".

"Either Europe has a committed, stable, successful eurozone with an effective firewall, well capitalised and regulated banks, a system of fiscal burden sharing, and supportive monetary policy across the Eurozone or we are in unchartered territory which carries huge risks for everybody," he is expected to say.

"As I have consistently said it is in Britain's interest for the eurozone to sort out its problems.

"But be in no doubt: whichever path is chosen, I am prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect this country and secure our economy and financial system."

Faced with the knock-on effects of the eurozone crisis, Mr Cameron will say that he has "a clear task" which is "to keep Britain safe".

He will defend the coalition's austerity measures, saying the programme of spending cuts, tax rises and pay freezes is already having the desired effect of reducing the deficit.

"Let me be clear, we are moving in the right direction - not rushing the task but judging it carefully. And that is why we must resist dangerous voices calling on us to retreat.

He will describe Labour calls for the pace of spending cuts to be slowed as "something for nothing economics".

"We cannot blow the budget on more spending and more debt. It would mean more austerity for even longer. It is not an alternative policy, it is a cop-out."

Labour said Mr Cameron was using the eurozone crisis as "an excuse for Britain's problems" and should instead be urging Europe to rethink its approach to austerity and the role of the European Central Bank.

"David Cameron is totally out of touch and deeply complacent if he thinks Britain is on the right course," shadow chancellor Ed Balls said.

"His failed policies have pushed us into recession and the government is now set to borrow an extra £150bn to pay for this economic failure.

"David Cameron must recognise the austerity policies which are failing in Europe are the very same policies that have failed in Britain and which the British government has been urging eurozone countries to stick with."

The Bank of England has again downgraded its forecast for growth in 2012 to just 0.8% with Governor Mervyn King attributing UK weakness to fissures in the single currency bloc.

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BBC News, 2012. Cameron to say UK's 'safety' is paramount in eurozone crisis [Online] (Updated 17th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1429095/Cameron-to-say-UKs-safety-is-paramount-in-eurozone-crisis [Accessed 31st Aug 2014]

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