Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Does the Minister agree that the gloom about the consequences of an early break-up of the euro has been greatly exaggerated, bearing in mind the very positive economic experience for eastern European countries from the break-up of the rouble zone—very similar to the euro—in the early 1990s?
The Minister for Europe (Mr David Lidington): I have to say that it is unusual to find my right hon. Friend looking to the example of the former Soviet Union for inspiration. We have looked across Government very carefully at what the consequences of a eurozone break-up might be, and one of the key differences between now and 20 years ago is that the economies and the financial systems of Europe are much more closely interlinked now than they were then. It is certainly our judgment that it would be damaging to the British national interest were a collapse of the eurozone or a prolonged recession in the eurozone to take place.