EU banking rows?

 

            We read that the Uk government wishes to protect home regulation of our banks from the new banking union proposed for the Euro area. We are told that they wish to do so whilst preserving the wider single market in banking and financial services. People are already arguing over the detail, worried lest the stronger Euro area banking regulation impinges on banking regulation in the EU outside the Euro area. A concession has been granted, modifying voting procedures on the European Banking Authority, to ensure some support to new rules from non Euro area members.

            It is time people woke up to the reality. Over the last decade huge powers have been transferred from the UK to the EU, especially in the banking and financial services sectors. The FSA has written on its website that “70% of the FSA’s policy making effort is driven by EU initiaitives”. When the new bodies, the PRA and the FCA, replace the FSA we may well see the figure over 90%. The horse has bolted, long before this latest lock on the stable door comes up for inspection.

           UK financial regulation is now subsidiary to EU regulation. The EU has recently established a European Banking Authority to regulate banks, a European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, and a European Securities and Markets Authority. There is now a grand European Systemic Risk Board overseeing the whole pan European system.

           There is plenty of EU law for them to implement and supervise. The Mifid Directive controls financial services. Banks are under the Banking Co-ordination Directive and the Capital Requirements Directive IV. Insurance has Solvency II. Most investment funds come under UCITs IV. There is the Money Laundering Directive and the Market Abuse Directive to regulate conduct. The EU has been busily working more recently on new legislation to govern OTC derivatives, mortgage credit, Insurance guarantee schemes, short selling, compensation  and a wide range of other activities. There is the well named Omnibus Directive.

        When the new Prudential regulatory Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority spring forward under Bank of England guidance, much of their work will be to enforce and interpret EU law.  The latest proposals do entail an even stronger possibility that European authorities could force on UK banks regulations or requirements which did not please the UK government. It is, however, a matter of degree. That can already happen given the way powers have been systematically transferred over the last decade.

         The latest proposals seek a single supervisory handbook for banks for the whole EU, with harmonised deposit insurance schemes, common capital requirements and a single European recovery and resolution framework. That does not leave a lot to national decision.

         The document from the Commission says:

“To avoid fragmentation of the internal market following the establishment of the single supervisory  mechanism, the proper functioning of the European Banking Authority needs to be ensured. The role of the EBA should therefore be preserved in order to further develop the single market and ensure convergence of supervisory practices all over the EU”

                 The UK government does need to stand up for more domestic control of these important matters. Like most things to do with the EU, just blocking the position getting worse is not enough. The government needs to admit the reality. Today, the UK financial and banking sector is largely controlled and regulated under EU law, with substantial influence from EU institutions. The Single rule book  applies to the UK, and it is about to get much more detailed and wide ranging, even if we stay out of the new  single supervisory mechanism for the Euro area.

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76 Comments

  1. Posted September 14, 2012 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    AND the entire EU is headed in a direction DIRECTLY the opposite to that which all sitting Conservatives MPs and MEPs should be opposing in ANY legislature based on the stalls they have historically set out to their voters.

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. The game is up for Cameron. Borroso was clear in his speech about quicker federation is required and the banking union. No comment from Cameron on a such an important issue. I suspect he will follow Clegg into a non EU job with pension like many other so called Eurosceptic MPs before them.

      UKIP is the only choice to get out of the EU. Next year’s local elections and 2014 European elections require a UKIP vote. Nov 2014 Lisbon treaty has full affect on the UK. It will make the other parties realise the public has had enough.

      No more fears about Labour getting in, that is likely to happen. But we know for sure there is little difference between them. Although, disappointingly, Labour MPs did give the impression/perception they were interested in the country and the economics- this lot do not. Osborne did not pretend he did not even stay here the week before the budget he went on a jolly to the US with Mr Cameron.

      • zorro
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Yes Barroso seemed rather chipper in his reply to Mr Farage. I suspect that he feels rather buoyed by the German Court’s decision and the ‘firming up’ of the ECB pledge to do what is necessary in buying up the bonds of the weaker brethren…..I suspect that he is girding himself to flex his muscles in 2014….

        I had to have a chuckle at the Barroso/Farage spat when Barroso said that he’d been elected by his peers in Parliament……Mr Farage did have to point out that he was in fact the only candidate!…..EU ‘democracy’….You’ve got to love it….LOL

        zorro

        • zorro
          Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          Let’s see how Cast Elastic plays this one….eh?

          zorro

      • BobE
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        I agree, a vote for UKIP might frighten the swivel-eyed federalists.

    • Timaction
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      ………..”The government needs to admit the reality”.

      What a lying bunch of traitors our leading politicians have been to allow this and other powers to be lost whilst pretending otherwise to the electorate. They had no mandate so as far as I am concerned its UKIP to get us out of this undemocratic bureacracy called the United States of Europe. Liblab CON cannot be trusted ever again.

      • Mark W
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        By United States of Europe I’m assuming you mean European Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or EUSSR.

        No need to fear Labour in 2015. I think the Tories may do better than some think in 2015 but that is the conservative minded voters kicking the can down the street. With every new intake there is likely to be less and less conservative Conservatives. Would John Redwood have made Camerons A-list?

        I’d vote Tory for the right person. But my MP is a social democrat Tory with a large majority. But growth in the UKIP share of vote was nearly 10 fold at last election. I know of plenty that intend to switch. I think Labour will take the constituency due to the split between UKIP and Tory vote. As a conservative do I care? Very much, it is necessary to rid this the space the conservative party occuppies so a truly conservative party can grow and replace it.

  2. Posted September 14, 2012 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Indeed but clearly hot air will be all we get from Cameron. He has no reverse gear on the EU just empty worthless words. No one will believe them now unless they are very gullible indeed. How can he lead at the next election with his words now being so valueless?

    I see that Jack Straw has accused Margaret Thatcher’s government of creating a “culture of impunity” in the police that led to the Hillsborough cover-up. Is there nothing she is not responsible for according to Labour/BBC think?

    I assume this is to deflect attention from Straw’s dreadful part in this matter. He refused, as home secretary, an inquiry into these quite appalling (and surely criminal actions by many) in the aftermath of this dreadful tragedy.

    Well done Dominique Grieve and Cameron on this issue at long, long last.

    • REPay
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      I was speechless with that one of the least principalled politicians ever to hold high office should blame Mrs. T for Hillsborough! This is no doubt going to be part of the official establishment takes on the Thatcher era which – according to the BBC/Labour think resulted in: de-industrialization, destruction of community, selfishness, deregulation that led to the credit crunch and ushered in a period of misery until 1997. The correct narrative was that there was a painful readjustment that led Britain back from the brink with replenished coffers which Brown then wasted. The centralized state she created enabled spendthrift governments to leave us with huge debt, a massive and massively unproductive public sector, none of which seems reformable.

      • uanime5
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        Actually the economy was in bad shape when Labour was elected in 1997; that’s one of the reasons why the Conservatives didn’t win the election. Also the economy continued to grow while Labour was in power until the banking crisis in 2008.

        By contrast when the Conservatives came to power the economy had little growth while the deficit and debt continued to increase.

        • Mark W
          Posted September 15, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          The economy in 1997 was in bad shape…. ….and continued to grow.

          Which?

          Thatcher was obviously responsible for defeat in 1066, the English civil war, the fire of London, the great plague… Throw a few more in please, she’s the greatest scapegoat ever.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted September 15, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          The economy was in good shape in 1997 and it was still in good shape in 2001, precisely because Labour stuck to Conservative spending plans during their first term. After 2001, higher public expenditure, fiscal incontinence and easy money crept in.

          Do you know the extent of popular support for the higher expenditure? People wanted significantly more spent on health (health expenditure has since doubled in real terms, so they ought to be happy) but were less keen on the other increases. Why do you think that Labour’s parliamentary majority was much reduced in 2005, even on the foundation of their inner city rotten boroughs?

      • Bazman
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        At the time you and many others no doubt blamed the crowd for the deaths. Oh yes you did as this is your belief system. Anything that happens to anyone is their own fault as long as it is not yourself. Now the evidence of what happened and the cover up is out you still try to wriggle and apologise for the authorities. Hoping to put the blame back where you think it should be. Was it the Police? No you say? The football ground? No? Then who? Yes you are back to square one.
        The idea that the Thatcher government was not somehow involved in covering up and watering down reports is not true and papers say this. The police were the boot boys of the state at the time especially after the miners strikes and football predominately being a working class pastime in that era with the tragedy in a northern city and the Thatcher government is recorded as giving the police version of the events more weight in hoping to dilute their and the polices involvement. They were in effect prejudice to the people who died. Interesting to see what the outcome would have been had this happened at Wimbledon under a Labour government. You know the answer so ram it.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        I am glad that people are able to remember back to 1989. Try a little harder and remember back to 1985, the heyday of the Heysel stadium (troubles-ed). As a result of the actions of those Liverpool supporters, English clubs were banned from European competitions for several seasons.

        The biggest sufferers from this were not Liverpool but Everton football club, who had just finished as Division 1 champions for the second time in 3 seasons. Their talented manager left for Spain, several of their best players left for Glasgow Rangers (Scottish clubs were not banned), the long slide began and their revenues were hit very hard.

        (sentence making allegations about the Kop’s attitudes-ed)
        Do shed tears for the 96 people who died on the day, but don’t shed any tears for Liverpool football club.

  3. ian wragg
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Yet another stride to a Federal Europe which no doubt John you will urge us to vote Tory for change from within.
    This whilst Cameroon continues to sign up to all things European.
    Very soon there will be nothing for Westminster to legislate on only to enforce EU law. Is this the reason you have decimated the armed forces so as to prevent a Military Junta taking over when the peasants revolt

  4. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I knew nothing of this. Well done for noticing it! Why has it not been discussed in parliament? Why has nobody on any news outlet even mentioned it? Why isn’t it a national scandal?

    Last night I was talking to a Lithuanian young man who was telling me how shocked he was that many LIthuanians come over to England just to collect their dole and welfare benefits. “Look at all the children,” he said. “They are all of them on benefits!”

    It is the banking system that mainly supports this moral and intellectual outrage. Once the banks go belly up, no more welfare! It is really what keeps the whole mad system on the track, isn’t it?

    • Willy Wireworm
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Plenty of Russians are also using their Lithuanian credentials. From Wikipedia: ‘In 1989, the [Lithuanian] legislature passed a nationality act granting automatic citizenship to those persons who could establish their own birth, or that of a parent or grandparent, within Lithuanian borders. Permanent residents not covered by these criteria were granted citizenship upon signing a loyalty oath …. A 1991 treaty with Russia extended the definition of residency to those who had immigrated to Lithuania from Russia between 1989 and the ratification of the treaty.’

    • Alan
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Is it a “moral and intellectual outrage” that we provide benefits for children of people who are resident in this country? I don’t think so.

      Is it the banking system that supports this? I doubt it, most of the banks went bankrupt. I thought the banks had gone “belly up”. I’m fairly sure it was mentioned in at least some newspapers.

      • A different Simon
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Agree with everything you have said .

        In 10 years time will Government policy still be directed towards saving the banks at the expense of destroying the real economy ?

        Must our children and Lithuanian children be debt slaves to the financial services sector ?

        Will anything change ?

        • zorro
          Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          Well that seems to be the game plan in reality….

          zorro

    • Bazman
      Posted September 15, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      A moral and intellectual outrage? Anyway, as the banks are supported by the taxpayer, it would seem logical that Lithuanian children are also supported by the same. The East Europeans are also don’t forget, supplying cheap labour to state and private business and it would be difficult to exclude their families from the welfare state enjoyed by the rest of the population.

  5. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Beat I understand (which is not saying much) we accept (cannot believe anyone wants) all this control by foreigners so that we can stay in a single banking market. Am I alone in not having much idea what this single market is exactly as regards banking? Before all this interference, each bank had deposit placing (even taking) and foreign exchange limits for other banks that it wished to deal with and that was that. Personally I don’t remember too much grief concerning country risk and frontiers.

    • zorro
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      It’s all part of the federal European regulation landscape. As John says, it is more or less a done deal. As it is 75-80% of legislation which goes through HoC is EU inspired, the politicians just forget to mention it.

      All weasel words like when Cameron said that he could never recommend the Euro to the UK. He knows full well that the argument when it happens will not be framed in that way anyway but rather presented as a fait accompli….

      zorro

  6. Sue
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    So, the final nail is about to be hammered into the coffin of our sovereignty? How does it feel Mr Redwood, to be part of a government that brought the United Kingdom to it’s knees and into European serfdom? A truly shameful way to treat people that have entrusted you with our freedom.

    History will not easily forgive you and nor will Britons. The really brave thing to do now is to declare total independence from this disastrous project, one that ordinary people want no part of. Unfortunately, that would not only take honesty and nerve but a government that truly believes it’s people are sovereign and not the politicians.

    Reply: I have been one of the MPs warning against the surrender of powers, and voting against this government’s EU measures where they surrender more and fail to give us a referendum.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Sue, if there is someone, such as Mr. Redwood, with whose views you emphasise and who you would like to see championing them so as to bring about changes you wish, then you need to consider the best ways the objectives can be achieved.

      Dramatic acts by individuals can make an impact, but the probability is that today’s headline will become tomorrow’s forgotten man.

      Opportunity and timing are everything. Churchill crossed the Commons twice, but I do not recall either act had any effect. For years his voice was ignored, but eventually the right man was in the right place at the right time, and the rest is history.

      Opportunities may arise after the next EU elections. If the sentiments widely expressed on this site were reflected in the votes of the electorate then the game would have changed, and it could be the start of a new chapter in the history of the UK.

    • Sue
      Posted September 15, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      I did say “part of this government” Mr Redwood. I know you are as sick of this as the rest of us.

  7. Old Albion
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Just another reason to get out of the whole corrupt EU empire. But who will allow us a vote?

  8. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Reading this blog, and others recently, gives me the notion that you have a tired resignation of the inevitability of the completion of the cote d’etat of this country by the EU, aided and abetted by successive quisling governments. You seem to have given up resistance. At least you have stopped telling us how we must stick with your party to stop this betrayal.

    Reply: If I had given up I would not be bothering to write these pieces highlighting the realities.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Sorry,
      I meant coup d’etat – must stop thinking of holidays!

      • zorro
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        I rather liked cote d’état……perhaps Cuba….sunny salsa socialism……or perhaps not!

        zorro

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Highlighting these things is not much use if it is not followed by action. When you write : “The UK government does need to stand up for more domestic control of these important matters. Like most things to do with the EU, just blocking the position getting worse is not enough.The government needs to admit the reality.” That is lacking in robustness and positive recommendations for what should be done.

  9. James Reade
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    The usual calls that we should be able to make our own mistakes and mess up.

    Because our system of regulation was really effective in stopping the financial crisis from happening, wasn’t it?

    I’m sure you can tell me all the things you would have done in power John, which would have stopped the crisis I’m sure, but what intrigues me most is this: Say, in some imaginary world, EU wide regulation just so happened to coincide with your ideas on regulation, John. Would you support it, or would you still object, saying we need to replicate it within our own borders?

    Reply: I would rather we had the power to decide it for ourselves. I do say when I agree with the purpose and style of EU regs, even if I still object to the power they have to impose them. For example, I support a policy against state aids. I did call for tighter regulation of cash and capital for banks long before the banking system was broken by the Boom/Bust regulation of the last decade.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      James,
      Yes, “we should be able to make our own mistakes and mess up” and remove those responsible. It’s called democracy. When the EU makes mistakes and mess up, we are powerless. You might be happy with that but I and millions of others are not.

    • zorro
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      ‘the usual calls that we should be able to make our own mistakes and mess up…’…..just read that again….we are not an infant nation in need of guidance. Of course we should be allowed to make our own decisions and yes sometimes mistakes, because that is what we do in life as people. Of course, the EU does not make mistakes so you will wish to be slavishly devoted to it…..incredible James incredible.

      zorro

  10. Acorn
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Q.How do you know a plane full of Pommies have just landed?
    A. The engines have stopped but you can still hear the whining.

    How about we just leave the EU, that will isolate the continent of Europe; that’ll teach ’em. Let’s face it, we are not going to leave the EU. There is as much chance as this government passing a law that effectively stop tax evasion, it ain’t going to happen.

    I think we know the EU is a socialist dream, with the management structural and operational defects that are endemic in such USSR type entities. But, the Great Recession (global recession as our politicians like to mis-label it), was designed and manufactured in London and New York. The EU banking system had lost all its resilience to such shocks and suffers badly still today. It is not obvious to me at the moment which national / supranational organisation, has the greater competence and conviction to bring the casino banks back to a public purpose.

    Please, please can we have a referendum on the EU in or out. Then I can decide where I want to live in my retirement and which currency I should commit toward.

  11. merlin
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The end of Cameron may be nearer than you think:-

    http://www.telegraph/news/politics/9542322/Conservative-mps-in-plot-to-topple-David-cameron-html

    I do not think that Cameron will stop this new banking regulation he is a weal leader and must be replaced.

  12. Graham
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    If we are expecting any backbone from Cameron or indeed any of our political donkeys (JR excepted) on this subject, or anything EU, then we are truely finished.

  13. Mark
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    What is most worrying about this putsch to control banking across the EU is that it is motivated by the same sorts of Brownite beliefs that produced the FSA: an ever bigger rule book is seen as the solution, just after it has so comprehensively failed.

    The further problem is that under a common rule book we will get common mode failure once again, as banks find their own way around the rules or take on similar risk profiles (which is much the same thing).

    The motivations to pretend that major banks in the EU do not have fundamental problems when so clearly they do also will produce perverse rules and responses, and far from sorting out the problems, will prolong them until the nexxt banking collapse.

    In the UK, we would do well to heed the advice of the likes of Andre Haldane, who appreciates the problems caused by interconnectedness and self-similarity of the financial system. Perhaps we would do best to regulate entirely separately, and rather more in line with the methodology that used to apply, which meant there was no run on a UK bank between Overend, Gurney in 1866 and Northern Rock in 2007 (just 7 years after the FSMA 2000).

  14. sm
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I wonder what is driving this ever closer union. With regards to banking regulation its hard to no what is worse, being ruled by from Brussels or ruled by fragmented regulators who seem purposely undermined, by leader’s and politicians and other interests. How will this regulation help to serve society rather than those that can influence and capture the regulators.

    Simple seems best.
    1) Break the banks up and reduce the too big too fail risk. 2) split investment/retail banks 3)move to full reserve banking and a constitutionally controlled method of creating currency which aims to keep purchasing power parity to a basket of essential economic necessities food/oil/energy/housing and possibly gold/silver.

    If you must introduce QE, it should be injected via different mechanisms which favour the banking industry and a wealthy elite. A rebalancing the economy commitee should suggest spending/tax cuts.
    Examples being forced debt paydowns of private debt,then energy efficiency,chp boliers,heat pumps etc,insulation,double glazing /home improvements, energy efficient cars, products built in the UK. Simplification of taxes, increase in personal allowances, elimination of means testing, elimination of NI, introduction of negative income tax or a low citizens income.

    QE currently, bails out bad decisions by banks/politicians/regulators, it leads directly to increases in the costs of non discretionary difficult to substitute spend. Higher import costs of gas,food and other essentials. It also leads to monopolies increasing costs,banking, local councils, the bbc, the government, freehold managing agents, indeed it is only in the competitive part of the real private sector that price cannot be increased without a consequent demand contraction. Demand contraction leads to increase in automatic stabilizer requiring more QE until, the rich own all the assets and the rest are literally impoverished or we collectively adopt another money standard or method of exchange and shun fiat.

    Maybe the real (non bank) private sector should adopt real money like gold backed money and the public sector etc can use and be paid with fiat.

    Now we apparently have never ending QE by the Fed!, how long before we are at it again.

    Stock up on long life food.

    • sm
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      correction

      which ‘DO NOT’ favour the banking industry..

  15. oldtimer
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    You say “UK financial regulation is now subsidiary to EU regulation.” This what Brussels understands by subsidiarity. Evidently it is not the holy grail, as imagined by UK governments, that will result in transfer of competencies back to national governments. Power will continue to travel in the opposite direction, back to Brussels.

    Mr Barroso`s State of the Union 2012 Address sets out, very clearly the direction he demands for the EU. He envisages a Single Market Act II. He claims “The European budget is the instrument for investment in Europe and growth in Europe.” Expect him to press on with the Fiancial Transactions Tax. He promotes the idea of the “development of a European public space”. This means the formation of European political parties, in opposition to national political parties. To achieve this he will introduce a “reinforced statute for European political parties”. He wants a member of such a party to be “candidate for the post of European Commission President in 2014.”

    Among other things, beyond the economic, monetary and fiscal rules and regulations there will be a Public Prosecutors Office, a Europe “capable of deploying military missions”, and the need to “begin truly collective defence planning”. To achieve this he proposes a federation of nation states run by Brussels. He goes on to say “we must not allow the populists and nationalists to set out a negative agenda”.

    The implications could not be clearer. What is unclear is the position of the political parties in all this (Clegg and the LibDems excepted).

    • uanime5
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      European political parties already exist as almost all MEPs have joined together to form 7 parties in the European Parliament.

      Given that the EU already has the European Court of Justice to rule one European law it makes sense for them to have a prosecutor as well to better assess whether member states are breaking EU law and if they need to be prosecuted.

      As the UK already sends troops to Nato and the UN there’s no problems with also supplying troops to an EU army.

  16. Atlas
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    John,

    I’ve just e-mailed my (Conservative) MP to let him know that I don’t think Cameron will defend this Country vis-a-vis Barroso’s Federal goal and that Cameron should be replaced as leader. Your blog is informative but it is up to us readers of it to ensure that you are not the sole lightening rod for all our discontent!

    • Willy Wireworm
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      It will be entertaining to watch Cameron call a referendum, as he will have to, and then campaign for a Yes vote, alongside Clegg and Miliband.

      • zorro
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        He will try and worm his way out of holding a referendum by whatever means possible…..

        zorro

  17. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I have begun an initiative in my local area, to discover what grass roots opinion is with regards to European policy in the next Conservative Party manifesto for the 2015 election. My main focus is:
    (1) What powers should we seek to claw back and which Accession Acts do we wish to repeal (I take it that repeal of the Lisbon Treaty Act is a given)?
    (2) When should the manifesto policy on Europe be finalised?
    (3) Should candidates that refuse to sign up to the new policy be deselected?

    I envisage that the grass roots canvas should be complete by June 2013,when the 2013 Finance Act is on the Statute Book, after which Eurosceptic MPs and MEPs can take over the whole manifesto process and drive it forward.

    My chosen method is to contact all wards in my District Council and all branches within the Parliamentary constituency (don’t forget that constituency boundaries may change), urging them to write in individually to the constituency Chairman.

    Clearly, I can’t cover the whole country, so I would urge as many grass roots Conservatives in other DCs and constituencies to do something similar.

    My fear is that, if we don’t make grass roots opinion explicit and on the record, the leadership of the Conservative Party will put a watered down policy in the manifesto so that they can carry on governing in coalition with the LibDems.

  18. Martyn
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Can anyone say with any confidence any area of national sovereignty that remains solely in the hands of our Parliament? Hope so, because I certainly cannot. No matter where one looks (aviation, fishing, working hours (noted in the DT today that the EU Working Hours Directive has impacted so badly on junior doctors that there are not enough and over 10,000 needless deaths occur annually as a result), search as one may you will find that Parliament has surrendered its and our rights to govern ourselves in our own best interests to the EU Commissioners.

    The EU Commission has taken so much power from us and other countries that they can announce with impunity (as they did yesterday) that national democracy must be eradicated all in the interests of forming a federated nation – presumably to be known as the USofE. A reality check indicates that our position in all this is irreversible, because none of the parties likely to form a new government can see any further than ‘the benefits’ that will accrue from ever-deeper surrender into Europe. I suspect that the next major step our government, present or future, will take within the next 3-5 years is to adopt the Euro, because no government of ours will want to be outside the cadre of EU power brokers.

    In short, I simply cannot see how the UK could withdraw from the EU without catastrophic, perhaps terminal effects on the nation from which it would take a generation to recover. Am I a merchant of gloom and doom, or a realist? Don’t know and can’t make up my mind as yet….

    • zorro
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Again this seems to be the clear direction of travel, particularly with regards to how they will present the Euro as a fait accompli which will be in the national interest (their opinion) at the time…..

      zorro

    • uanime5
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      You do realise that if there aren’t enough junior doctors the solution is to train more of them, rather than forcing the existing junior doctors to work 100 hours per week.

      Also the European Commission’s main power is proposing legislation, which has to be ratified by the European Parliament before it can take effect (the European Parliament can reject or amend any bill from the Commission). So if any part of the EU has “taken” powers from national parliaments it’s the democratically elected European Parliament, not the Commission.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Junior doctors are voracious for learning and experience. Many of them want to work 72 hours a week. However, I suppose that it is necessary that some useless interfering pillock steps in to prevent them.

  19. merlin
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I don’t know how many times I have to repeat this but here we go again

    1) the conservatives are pro the eu

    2) labour are pro eu

    3) liberals are pro eu

    Logical conclusion- note lifelogic-the british people do not have a choice regarding the european union. If they do not have a choice than we are already living in a totalitarian country. The only way forward is UKIP, its the only party in the UK that is anti EUSSR and wants to withdraw from it.

  20. merlin
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    All 3 main political parties agree that the way forward is further EU integration, all 3 main parties want a federal europe, so whoever you vote for in the British elections will not make any difference at all, of course, they will deny this, and it won’t be discussed but the conservative Party wants us all to further ingratiate this counrty into the future european superstate. Individual MPs may protest and people it won’t make any difference

  21. David John Wilson
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Why all the fuss? How many of these regulations actually work against the UK’s interests? What are we doing to change the few to which we actually object?

    Why do we assume that because it comes from Europe it is wrong and against our interests. Why can’t the UK accept that it is part of Europe? Surely it is in the interests of our strong service industry to be operating within the rules of a wider EU than trying to survive battling against different rules.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      David,
      We are part of Europe but don’t want to be part of an EU which is anti-democratic and determined to govern us without our consent.

      • uanime5
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

        Except the EU isn’t anti democratic and isn’t governing us without our consent as people from the UK make up the European Council, Commission, Parliament, and Court.

    • Willy Wireworm
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Our service industries are strong partly because they have competitive advantages. These will gradually be eliminated by Brussels – it’s so obvious.

      • uanime5
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

        What exactly are these competitive advantages? A workforce that works for low wages and can be forced to work for free?

    • outsider
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr Wilson,
      I am afraid that some of these regulations are harmful because they cut across differing traditions in different countries. To explore one example, try googling “EU pension regulations” and you will see that the EU does not really believe in the investment in company shares and bonds , which made for good UK pensions for two generations. The regulations insist on more investment into “safer” government bonds, which deliver less retirement income. So this particular regulatory regime will make most future UK private sector pensioners worse off. Admittedly, the Brown/Blair and Cameron governments have already done their best to wreck our pension system but EU regulation will now make it even worse, simply in order to have the same regulations for all. German industry has traditionally had an entirely different way of financing company pensions which I guess will not be affected.

      • outsider
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        PS. Of course, these new EU regulations will not affect the pensions of the public officials and career politicians who drew them up and approved them.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Dear David John, It’s like when sharing a flat. The bathroom, in particular the basin, would often have a rim of soap left after the last person to use it, causing rows. It’s no good saying, But it’s just soap, the point is that it is somebody else’s soap and we British are big enough and in my case certainly ugly enough to want our own soap. Maybe you have ties to Europe that the rest of us don’t. They are all foreigners to the rest of us and as far as we are concerned we tower above them. The fact that they are closer than some makes no big difference to us. Furthermore, their languages we don’t know and don’t want to know (no need and that’s the truth), their cultures, architecture, history, climate, geography and religion are way different and besides diversity is better for competition. We should strive to live in harmony with them and everyone else but why they should be making our rules – or even close – is utterly beyond our comprehension and we do not like it. We hate the idea of people being homogenized except perhaps over millions of years as nature intended.

      • David John Wilson
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        No, my ancestry is English back to at least the 17th century on all lines. However to me the Scots and Welsh are foreigners to a larger extent than the French and I even have doubts about the Cornish.

        I would like to see the end of the Westminster UK parliament with each of the individual nations having their own parliaments. Where there is a need for a common government, for example for defence, that should be taken over by Europe.

  22. Bert Young
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Action is indeed warranted on all the European initiatives that threaten the democracy of this country . Tackling them piecemeal is now too unwieldy and will take forever ; the present coalition has added to the quagmire and will not create the “In / Out” referendum we desperately need – the leadership is rudderless . Come the election I sincerely hope and pray that initiatives around the country will force all candidates to adopt an “Out of Europe” position otherwise they face certain defeat . In my area this is already happening . Citizens unite !!

  23. John Orchard
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    What Cameron and his other spineless cabinet should do is a tour of Europes war grave cemeteries and see what this Country and our Commonwealth Toops did for Europe. If he thinks that we are going to roll over and let the likes of the non elected Barroso rule us then I am afraid there will be public order problems in this Country. I want someonme like Nigel Farage to to speak for us as Cameron with his pro Europe stance against the majority of voters in this Country is an absolute disgrace.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      The UK was planning to be neutral in WW1 but had to intervene due to an alliance with Belgium (Germany attacked Belgium). The UK intervened in WW2 to prevent Germany from annexing most of Europe. In both cases the UK was involved in these wars for their own benefit, not for the benefit of Europe.

      • outsider
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Not sure that I follow this argument or that it bears any resemblance to history. Perhaps you explain further.

  24. Barbara Stevens
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Well Mr Redwood, the new orgainisations that have emerged within the EU, and this government has allowed more powers to be handed over without a fight, is disgusting. What weakness they have shown. Cameron, (can’t find it in me to address him has Mr), said he would stop more laws going to the EU, he has lied again and again. Deceived us all by allowing it to proceed. For all his talk he’s still allowing laws to be imposed upon the FSA, banking systems, which we all know bring in billions for this country. How can the Conservatives allow him to continue in his role? He should be removed, and quickly before he sells this country down the river completely. I’m sick of hearing what’s being allowed to happen, and we appear to have very few MPs, who are prepared to speak up. Yes, we have heard some of late on foreign aid etc, well done, but this is far more important to the country to be ignored. I think if this continues the party will allow Miliband back into No 10 without a fight, how can the party allow that to happen?

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    The Telegraph and the Mail are stringing their readers along with talk about EU treaty changes and claims that there would have to be a referendum.

    As both newspapers steadfastly refused to recognise the existence of the major EU treaty change agreed on March 25th 2011, maybe it’s not surprising that they now refuse to recognise that on October 13th 2011 Hague made first use of his new “referendum lock” law to BLOCK a referendum on that treaty change.

    So that would be the first option for the EU governments; to make sure that Hague could say that the next EU treaty changes also did not “apply” to the UK, and so once again there would no referendum.

    Failing that, an intergovernmental treaty outside the EU treaties, like the fiscal pact, and if some parts were illegal under the EU treaties then Cameron could once again let them get away with that; or, as another alternative, use of the EU treaty provisions on “enhanced co-operation”, and once again Cameron could turn a blind eye to any illegalities.

    Anything to avoid letting the British people interfere in the process through a referendum.

    Later, when the EU had further enlarged up towards about 40 member states, and the UK was heading towards being the last remaining member state of the EU which had still not adopted its currency, we would be told that the only “sensible” course was to end our “isolation” in Europe by joining the euro, whereupon all the federalising treaty changes which did not previously “apply” to the UK would come into force for us as well.

  26. forthurst
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Why try to regulate activities which for the wider good should not be allowed at all? I see that an operative in UBS’ global ‘synthetic equities’ division is alleged to have lost £2.3billion and has been charge with offences. Presumably if he had made that much by using the same alleged tactics of transactional invention, he would still have been charged with offences?

    When Boeing conceived the 747, the management bet the company when all its engineering resources were poured in to make it a commercial success. Betting the company in ‘banking’ is normally performed by crooked banksters in senior positions or Rogue Traders who would rightly belong with Gamblers Anonymous. Boeing created enormous future benefits for their company and shareholders when their investment paid off. Banksters simply ricochet around the markets hoping to syphon off other peoples’ wealth in the process but in the certain knowledge that their political ‘contacts’ will ensure taxpayers’ funding when their wagers fail to deliver.

  27. Antisthenes
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    If it is any consolation the EUSSR will eventually go the way of the USSR. Alas the misery before, during and after is going to be very unpleasant to say the least.

    Centralised economies have not had one success story whereas free market capitalism has many yet the powers to be do not take on board that lesson. Nor do they recognise that in the process of building the EUSSR democracy is rapidly being replaced by oligarchy.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

      Well it’s a good thing the EU isn’t promoting a centralised economy and are actively opposing monopolies and cartels.

      Also an oligarchy is much better than a plutocracy.

  28. BobE
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Withour a shot being fired Germany takes leadership of Europe.

  29. peter davies
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    “UK financial regulation is now subsidiary to EU regulation” no different to the rest of the UK…. so as a back bencher we need the EU sceptics in the Tory party put some some sort of parliamentary anti EU alliance together across all parties (don’t tell me there are none in Lib or Lab) to force the hand on the govt to put in place legislation to hold a full IN/OUT EU referendum.

    It is clear this Soviet style monster does not have a reverse gear so we need to be looking at trading with the EU under alternative arrangements to clear the way for a pull out.

    Reply We tried that last year. There were very few Labour MPs prepared to vote for a referendum.

  30. PETER RICHARDSON
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    In the late nineteen sixties, I was on the list of Conservative parliamentary candidates, having been a councillor and party member for many years.
    I met Ted Heath personally face to face and he convinced me to vote for the EEC being a beneficial trading block of European nations.
    I lost the adoption for selection as the prospective parliamentary candidate for the 1970 general election by 3 votes, but was short-listed for 4 other constituencies, but not selected. I consistently maintained my belief in the EEC, but never for federalism.
    Many years later Mr Heath admitted he had always been a federalist (and therefore by implication he admitted he had deceived the people he allegedly served and who paid him).
    I voted for what I then believed to be in the UK best interests, but I did not, will not and have not voted for any Brussels controls on an increasingly federal Europe.
    Morally and perhaps legally in view of the above admission, the voters (who are they and do they matter?) must be given a vote on the totally different siltation and proposals that now exist.
    UKIP are not yet strong enough and will probably just allow Labour into government.
    Mr Redwood, whom I have always admired for basic integrity, talks almost glibly about ‘warnings’ he has given and similar words.
    Now is the time to declare one’s beliefs and act as Geoffrey Johnson Smith, Vice Chairman of the party and in charge of candidates, told me once in the House of Commons that he had on two occasions voted against his government, but on neither occasion did it bring the government down.
    Perhaps Mr Redwood should be prepared to do the same, but even if necessary, risk bringing the government down or at least change the man at the top and ensure the people, who also put him in Westminster, have their vote on Europe!

    (Reply: I do vote against the government when they are giving away power to the EU, or when they are opposing a referendum.

  31. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Dear John, By the Lord Harry, you do come in for some stick don’t you? Seems to me that a lot of the brickbats (often from your own supporters, crazy though that seems) come from people who are besides themselves with rage at just about every single decision and statement that Cameron has made and makes, and because they have no direct easy way to get at him your head above the parapet gets tarred with the same brush. Most of the time (the odd apostrophe apart) you seem to be perfectly correct in what you write and doing all you can, not quite, but pretty much, on your own. To add to my recent “good advice” do remember that it is possible to jump ship–I believe Churchill was proud that, in his own words, he had ratted and then re-ratted.

  32. Jon
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    The EU have openly made it clear they want the City of London destroyed. Thats not just banking for the banker bashers but everyone’s savings and pensions that will be adversely affected by this. In turn that means investment in Plc’s and jobs.

    I do have an issue with the bankers here as it gave the EU the ammunition though it took the dense knuckle draggers a couple of years to twig that line of attack, bless.

    As much as I criticise the FSA I know the EU regulators that increase in number every few months are as ridiculous as G Brown. Solvency 11 I recon was lifted from his work in ridding defined benefit pensions from the private sector.

    I’m not sure we need the EU question right now but next parliament term is looking likely.

  33. Derek Emery
    Posted September 15, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The world economy is based on competition. The EU will never understand this as the EU is inherently anti-business and anti-markets and anti anything that it does not have 100% central unelected control over.
    The EU mentality is that there can never be enough rules and regulations. They are stupid enough to believe that if the world can be brought totally under central control everything will run perfectly. There will be no more boom and bust etc. Really they are little better than children in their responses.

    The world is extremely complex and the EU approach amounts to inflexibility on steroids where bureaucrats who are clueless about the real world set up limitations that they can understand which makes them feel safe.
    It’s obvious from the demonstrable incompetence of the EU that the only way for the EU is down with a steepening trajectory.

    Only complete fools would have invented an EZ based on principles like separate sovereign debt to maintain a perennial German surplus and expect that to work in the real world.
    Ever rising PIIGS sovereign debt from the EZ translates to ever decreasing growth for the PIIGS and ever worsening PIIGS economies with rising unemployment.

    The EU then blames the PIIGS for being in debt when it was the EU that created the problem of guaranteed ever-rising debt for the PIIGS to start with by their design f the EZ.

    It’s hard to decide whether the EU elite are really as intellectually challenged as they make out or really understood this would happen all along and saw it as a means to remove democratic accountability from the EU, starting with the PIIGS.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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