28 MAR 2011
By Sean O'Grady | The Independent
The UK will indeed be liable for about £3bn in loan assistance to Portugal if she is bailed out – but there is confusion over why.
Britain is not a party to the eurozone's current bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, which, together with the IMF and with technical back-up from the European Central Bank, is the main director of funds to distressed nations, as was the case with Ireland last year (though not Greece, where the crisis predated its creation).
HM Treasury is, in any case, obliged to provide any funding for eurozone bailouts through its subscription to the IMF, but that is the same situation as applies to any other nation, from Pakistan to Ukraine. The EFSF has €440bn (£387bn) available immediately. The IMF has subscribed another €250bn, and, as with all IMF loans, the UK has a 4.8 per cent share of that – say €12bn.
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