“Ireland’s membership of the euro was thus the single most important reason for yesterday eye-wateringly large bailout of the Irish banks, which will take the budget deficit to 32 per cent of GDP and its gross government debt to 96 per cent of GDP. The tragedy is that nobody is pointing this out: the political establishment is too closely implicated and may yet need to draw on a European bailout fund. Imagine what would have happened had Britain also embraced the single currency: our interest rates – which were substantially higher than the Eurozone’s, albeit still too low – would have stoked our own bubble to an even greater extent than anything managed by the Bank of England. The UK property bubble would have been even larger and its implosion even more devastating. We don’t realise it – but Britain’s bust of 2008-09 could easily have been much, much nastier.”
It might be worth re-reading this to recall the ferocity of those pro-euro folk and their treatment of anyone who sought to stand in their way, including, it seems, ordinary voters.