Ireland has big problems. The Irish government’s decision to guarantee all investments in Irish banks, is looking less of a good idea than it was at the time. Ireland is in recession and things could be worse without a bailout from Europe.
Some in the UK query why should we; whom are facing harsh austerity measures ourselves, provide financial aid to Ireland?
It is important we do for various reasons. The UK is Ireland’s second largest trading partner behind the USA. Our banks have lent Ireland a substancial amount; RBS and Lloyds alone have total loans of £80 billion to Irish customers, of which £28 billion is in mortgages (source The Times).
If Ireland crashes, then other countries within the euro zone may follow suit. Portugal and Spain in example, both like Ireland have seen a property market collapse. This cannot be good for the stability of the European Union.
The EU is our biggest trading partner; in September 2010, our total value in goods exported to the EU was £11.8 billion in comparison to £10.9 billion for non EU Countries (Source ONS and uktradeinfo). True there are other developing markets China and India, but it will take time and they will not overnight replace any trade lost with Europe as a whole being in recession.
Least of all but still important, an Ireland economy in free fall would be very bad news for the economy of Anglesey.