George Osborne

Read more: British step in and offer help to Ireland - SEE VIDEO

The British Chancellor George Osborne told the press last night that Irish economic stability and a stable banking system there are in Britain's national interest.

Informing the House of Commons about the British involvement in the bailout of the Irish economy, Osborne said Ireland was a major trading partner with a banking sector that is interconnected with Britain's.

Saying it was right to help a friend in need Osbourne explained that Britain's total contribution to the international support package is in the region of 7 billion pounds.

Osborne told the Commons: "The United Kingdom, alongside the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the eurozone and other member states is participating in the international financial assistance package for Ireland announced last night."

"The current Irish situation has become unsustainable. Their sovereign debt markets had effectively closed and had little prospect of reopening."

Osborne told the Commons that wide ranging private discussions had been taking place with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union on plans for an Irish bailout before the request from Ireland was officially made.

Meanwhile Britain's shadow chancellor Alan Johnson said the Labour Party was content to support a role for the U.K. in assisting Ireland to secure economic stability.

Ireland is a major export market for the U.K. and British banks - that have already been bailed out by the British taxpayer - have significant exposures to Irish debt.

Read more: British step in and offer help to Ireland - SEE VIDEO