PM 'agrees euro crisis hitting UK'
Prime Minister David Cameron backs the Chancellor's assessment that problems in the eurozone are holding back Britain's economic recovery, Downing Street has said.
George Osborne has faced criticism from some Conservative MPs over his claim on Sunday that UK recovery was being "killed off by the crisis on our doorstep".
He was accused by backbenchers of making excuses for Britain's "awful" performance instead of taking action to revive the economy by cutting regulation and scrapping the 3p rise in petrol taxes planned for the autumn.
David Ruffley, a member of the Commons Treasury Committee, said that "eurozone meltdown" should not be used "as an alibi for no growth in the UK", while Douglas Carswell wrote on his blog: "It is not the eurozone crisis that we should blame for our awful economic performance, but the almost total absence of domestic economic reform."
Asked whether Mr Cameron shared the concerns voiced by critics of the Chancellor, a Downing Street spokeswoman told reporters: "He would agree with the Chancellor, which is why it is so important that we see a resolution of the problems in the eurozone."
Markets around the world responded positively to the 100 billion bailout for Spain's banks agreed over the weekend, with a 2% jump in the FTSE 100 index reflecting similar gains in Asia.
The Downing Street spokeswoman stressed that there would be no UK contribution to the bailout.
"The terms are still being sorted out, but certainly there is going to be no cost to the UK taxpayer, as the Chancellor has set out," she said.
"The important thing is that the eurozone is helping members of the eurozone, which is an important principle. More broadly, what is important is that any decisions that affect the 27 members of the EU, those discussions are had with the 27 members and no agreement is made without them.
"The Prime Minister and Chancellor have been very clear that we want to be able to protect our British interests and at the same time we want to see the eurozone dealing with its problems."