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Eurozone Crisis Holding Back UK Economy, Claims David Cameron

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CAMERON EUROZONE
Cameron is said to believe the ongoing eurozone crisis is doing significant damage to the UK economy | Getty Images

Prime minister David Cameron backs the chancellor's assessment that problems in the eurozone are holding back Britain's economic recovery, Downing Street said on Monday.

George Osborne has faced criticism from some Conservative MPs over his claim yesterday that the 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.

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."

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."

Asked whether the PM believed it would be impossible for the UK to return to growth in the absence of a resolution to the eurozone crisis, the spokeswoman said: "The prime minister would argue that we are doing an awful lot to try to encourage enterprise and build growth in our economy.

"If we can deal with the eurozone problems and rebuild confidence in the markets, that will help the UK economy."