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Would a UK Within the Eurozone Have Voted to Bail it out? Probably not

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BBC Newsnight came alive on Wednesday night, for the first time in a very long time. Twitter went wild.

For those of you who didn't see centre right commentator Peter Oborne's tussle with former FT Editor Sir Richard Lambert on the history and the future of the Euro, have a look here.

Although Oborne was rude, crude and bombastic towards Lambert, he asked the right question. Why was Europe's leading markets paper - the Financial Times - editorially so uncritical of the Euro project from an economic perspective? It bought the politics - but wasn't it, isn't it, supposed to be the paper of economics?

And it is the question that Oborne posed: why was the media and political class so enthused of the project for so long? A question which has some relevance for Britain watching the vote in the German Bundestag yesterday.

Now I am no Eurosceptic. I tried twice to get Ken Clarke elected Tory leader! I did believe in the project from the outset, but the facts have changed and so have I.

And so have the views of electorates across Europe. Current polling in Germany shows an increasingly Euro-sceptical stance. The people are ahead of the political class - and not for the first time.

The problem for Europe's politicians is that they have very few options left. There was talk last weekend of a deal on the table to expand the European Financial Stability Facility - leveraging it up from €440bn to over €2.5trillion. But few can explain how this will work in practice.

This week I talked to an investment banker who said the markets would now want to see an even higher number in order to provide some greater comfort. Higher than €2.5trillion. Eh????

These telephone numbers have become meaningless.

The problem for politicians like Mrs Merkel is Eurozone electorates can't see the benefits they were sold at the outset anymore.

I can't help but think right now just what would the House of Commons have done today if it had been faced with such a vote? Would a UK within the Eurozone have voted to bail it out? Probably not. Even Nick Clegg spoke in Eurosceptical terms about the proposed financial transaction tax today.

Most British voters watching the evening news last night will have breathed a sigh of relief. And their politicians will have too.

For now...