EU banking union should provide the UK with a way out

           In recent years control of the City of London has effectively been ceded to the EU. Most financial and banking matters are now subject to EU regulation. Given the fact that London is a great global market this has its dangers. Many of us would prefer that the UK retained the power to make its own decisions about financial matters, and was able to set its own appropriate standards for the conduct of business as it used to do.

            We were told when they set up the Euro that London would be marginalised and would lose out to the French and German centres. Instead, London boomed, as it offered a fast, efficient and economic way of transacting Euro business, just as it offered good services for dollar and sterling business as well. Now we are threatened that if London and the UK do not accept all this EU regulation, London will be banned as a location for Euro business. International trade rules and self interest by operators on the continent suggest this threat, like the ones before it, does not ring true.

           The Euro area says it now needs much strongher and more centralised control over banks. So be it. If you are in a system with a single currency and central bank, there is a case for that.  It  is a matter which the Euro countries should decide. There is no need for us to give them advice or seek to influence what should be their decision.

          For us the decision is also simple. We do not wish to be part of the Euro. We do not share a central bank. We do not need to join their banking union. What the UK government needs to do is to seek powers back over our system as the price for letting them complete their more centralised arrangements. There is no reason why London should have to accept rules they need for their single currency area. If they accept that there is no reason why the UK government should withold consent to their progress towards a banking union. This is an opportunity for both sides to have a new and more sensible relationship on this set of issues.

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  1. Nina Andreeva
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    And just what is wrong with Euro regulation? Have a look at this list of the world’s safest banks. It is funny how so many of them come from within the Eurozone. I know where I would prefer to keep my money.It would certainly not be in city a that is cosseted by taxpayer handouts for excessive risk taking and acts as a nexus for such dubious American failures as MF Global and AIG

    Reply: Have you looked at the state of the Greek and Spanish banks recently? Some of these are no advert for EU regulation. The US banking system is stronger and doing a better job than the weak Eurozone country systems.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Further to Reply–There is or should be no onus on us to show or even declare that there is anything “wrong” with Euro Regulation, especially Banking Regulation. If certain foreigners have got themselves in to a bind through their own daft and delusional decisions and consequently think Banking Regulation is right for them, verily it is a matter for them what they do. It is all part of the “Are you In or Out baloney?”–a false dichotomy if ever there were. The idea of (etymologically literally) cutting a complex situation in to two is just plain balmy because obviously there are an infinity of choices between 100% In and a 100% Out. Let’s hear it for the euro (offshore) Euro like the (very much continuing) euro Dollar and of course many other currencies. Wave goodbye I say.

    • Mr. Frost
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      Nina, there’s nothing stopping you from putting your money in Euro regulated banks.

      Just don’t insist that we have to…

      • Nina Andreeva
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        Be careful what you wish for. Regulation is a lot less tight in London than it is on Wall Street, which is why in the run up to 2008 it started to attract people like
        Joe Cassano .

        If you accept that Brown’s “light touch” regulation contributed to our current situation (which at the time Osborne bizarrely said was “excessive and uncompetitive”) and has not been revised in any meaningful way since, you really can only look forward to more and more stagnation

        • Jerry
          Posted October 20, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

          That might well be the case Nina but we (our UK government) has control of the regulation methods, if regulation is to light -or to tight- it can be changed quite simply. Now just think about the process involved if the City or savers in the UK were being hurt by the regulation but that is controlled from the ECB (or worse Brussels), it could take months, even years, to get them changed, it might even need a pan-EU ‘leaders’ meeting…

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      I would not have thought an open ended programme of buying $40 billion’s worth of MBS a month indicates that the American banks are in rude health yet. I take your point on Club Med banking

      • Gary
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Not sure about Spain, but many of Greece’s problems stem from the way a prominent American bank (helped arrange-ed) Greek rates using derivatives to gain entry into the EU. Greece should never have been allowed to join.

    • Steven Whitfield
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink


      Just because some Euro banks are percieved as being ‘safe’, it isn’t reasonable to suggest there is nothing wrong with ‘Euro regulation’.

      • Steven Whitfield
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Poor form Mr Redwood – removing a harmless link from my post was unneccessary.

        Reply: I did not have time to check it out and did not want to delay your post. it is helpful to me and readers to summarise the key point from the link.

    • Alan
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      If you had put your money in euros into a Greek or Spanish bank before the financial crisis you would now be richer than if you had kept it in sterling in a British bank, because sterling has fallen in value more than the euro.

      That isn’t an argument for adopting the EU’s banking regulation, but it is a sharp reminder that British banking and financial policy have not been a great success in recent years. British bankers and politicians may feel confident that they can do better for us outside the EU, but they have yet to demonstrate that they can. The British public finances are in as big a mess as most of the peripheral Eurozone countries, and in a far worse state than those of countries within the Eurozone that ran their economies prudently.

      If our banking regulation is to be less prudent than the EU I am not sure I do want that, and, if lack of prudence brings about another banking collapse, it could cost us dear.

    • Andy
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Well I have some money in the National Bank of Greece, so I’m sure you will transfer the family fortune there !! I have basically written that off ! The truth is many Eurozone banks are in a terrible state, and quite a few of them are basically insolvent.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      The taxpayer handouts to RBS and HBOS were because Gordon Brown CHOSE to purchase shares in them without doing due diligence. He could have send in administrators while due diligence was done but CHOSE not to. The result is that taxpayers have incurred losses of £33 billion (plus inflation and counting) that should have been borne by shareholders.

      Just treat banks like other businesses and don’t bail them out. Capitalism hasn’t failed; it hasn’t been properly tried.

  2. Single Acts
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    I reckon the reason the government aren’t galloping down the Euro boulevard (aside from the prospect of electoral destruction of course) is the fact Mr Osborne might find EU scrutiny of his budget awkward given all the QE/counterfeiting.

    Ironic really, an act of national financial forgery maintains some of our honesty and independence.

    • zorro
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      That financial dishonest has effectively cushioned the effects of the recession. Can you imagine what would have happened if we’d been in the Euro…..


      • Gary
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        Financial dishonesty has delayed and will greatly increase the cost of the final reckoning. There is no free lunch. The left hand is conjuring up bonds and the right hand buys them. This, despite Osborne’s claims, yields rates that have nothing to do with international confidence in the country. On the contrary, if there was international confidence, then this sleight of hand trick would not be required.

      • Alan
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        We would be better off. Keeping sterling has meant that our savings are worth less and we work for lower wages.

        • zorro
          Posted October 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

          Not so, the pound has appreciated against the Euro since the crash.If you have left
          money in the bank account rather than investing in stocks and precious metals, you will have lost out because of QE and ZIRP…..


  3. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    It should still be possible for the UK to champion completion of the single market, especially in (financial) services. I assume that the competition commissioner could guard over fair competition in the financial sector. If the UK were suspected of too much cherry-picking, measures could still be taken by the eurozone in future to protect itself while respecting any WTO rules.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      The single market was supposed to be completed soon after the Single European Act reached our Statute Book on 1st January 1987. The problem is not the agreements, but to prevent France and others from ratting on them. The French are past masters at non tariff barriers to competition.

  4. lifelogic
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    “Given the fact that London is a great global market this has its dangers”. It most certainly does. We have already seen the absurd, gender neutral, insurance laws and other mad interference. The profitable city is clearly something they are keen steal away. It is vital to the UK and needs protection which is not being done effectively.

    “This is an opportunity for both sides to have a new and more sensible relationship on this set of issues”. Indeed it is, but we have Cameron who has already allowed the absurd gender neutral, insurance laws and also allows the EU to virtually fly the RBS/Natwest recession machine by wire despite government ownership. He clearly lacks logic, judgement, numeracy and honesty on the EU issue and simply cannot be trusted.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Profitable to who? Not the British economy, business, worker and taxpayer thats for sure. Cost us a fortune in the long term.

      • Richard
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        City of London , quite profitable I think ,see link
        £53 billion tax paid which is 11.2% of total Govt. tax receipts, not bad for a square mile.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          There are a few problems with your argument.

          1) Many businesses have their headquarters in the City but make most of their money outside the City. So if the City was suddenly destroyed the amount of tax revenue wouldn’t decrease by 11.2%.

          2) Secondly the high concentration of businesses makes it difficult to compare the City to any other square mile of the UK. Though if you compare it to the number of people employed…

          • Richard
            Posted October 20, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

            You are stating the obvious.
            I was replying to Bazman, and his incorrect statement that “the City” or the “square mile” as it it sometimes called, is not profitable, by showing that the financial sector, with its heart in London brings in large tax receipts as well as employing many hundreds of thousands of people.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        It is highly profitable for the whole country, on balance. Look at the figures for its contribution. Indeed it is one of the few areas in which we can still compete. This thanks the the endless red tape, “high green” energy costs, over large governments, over high taxes and a pretty incompetent state sector and poor infrastructure.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          How much did the bailouts cost the country in real terms now and in future? The billions spend subsiding the financial sector could have been spent on infrastructure.
          Britain is over reliant on the City and the city is disproportionately influential spending tens of millions on lobbying including millions lavished on banquets in honour of politicians and state leaders are designed ‘to increase the emphasis on complementing hospitality with business meetings consistent with the City Corporation’s role in supporting the City as a financial centre. How is the country supposed to create jobs and other industries and not be reliant on the taxation of banking if this is allowed to continue? You say there should be less benefits paid for by the state, but how when the the population relies on ‘handouts’ in the form of taxation on the City hegemony? Ram it.

          • Richard
            Posted October 20, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

            It was the great Gordon, and his sidekick Balls, from the Labour party, you no doubt voted for, who wasted all those billions nationalising the banks.
            So blame them.
            Most of us wicked right-wing free market fanasists, as you often call us, would have let them go bust.
            Then the billions saved could have been spent on the infrastructure and employment creating schemes you call for

          • lifelogic
            Posted October 20, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

            The bailouts were done in a very stupid way by save the World Gordon Brown, but anyway the city is still, when averaged over the years, a huge benefit to the UK.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

            To big to fail and you know it.

  5. Electro-Kevin
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your vigilance on both this issue and the one mentioned in your previous post.

  6. Pete the Bike
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Dave will fail to use the opportunity as he has failed to use other opportunities. Guaranteed.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      I will be amazed if he does take the opportunity.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        In actual actions rather than words that is.

  7. zorro
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    The threat of the EU making it difficult for financial institutions to operate or conduct Euro business in London carries about as much weight or credibility as Mr Hollande banning homework in the French school system to make things ‘fair’…….


    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Zorro–One wonders how the Japanese Banks manage offshore of the huge Chinese and Asian mainland–doubt that there is too much by way of Banking Regulation forced upon them or otherwise from that direction. They would would think the suggestion utterly mad. The whole idea of our needing to be tied up with and (careful choice of word) by the continent is and always has been drivel. Let’s hear it for the English-speaking people.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Simply amazing that we voluntarily gave up sovereignty in this area. Personally I’d be happy to have a sort of British Nuremberg on this–traitors to the Tower of course (at least).

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Further to Reply–There are few certainties in life but one is that any mention of Japan managing OK offshore of Asia and China, without the slightest move in a EU type direction, is not going to get so much as a peep out of the EU philes. To me this is absolute proof that the EU is simply not necessary–especially as I would venture to suggest that we have more contacts and friends around the world than Japan. How many people speak Japanese?

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Banning home work to make things fair! Will that make the pretty become plain, the fat become thin, the dim become clever, the ill become well and the weak become strong? It seems unlikely.

      When will these halfwitted socialists learn that the world is not and never will be or even could be “fair”.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Given that school in France lasts until 8.30am-5pm weekdays (except Wednesday when there’s no school) and until recently 12pm on Saturday perhaps no homework can be justified.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 20, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        So about the same total hours as they UK then?

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Does that include a 3 hour lunch break? Why no school on Wednesdays?

  8. zorro
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    ‘There is no need for us to give them advice or seek to influence what should be their decision.’………Unfortunately, Cast Elastic can’t help lecturing about how well Britain is doing outside the Eurozone, and generally winding them up to no real actual benefit to us……Better to keep quiet and let them get on with it…..As a certain EU ancestor once said….’Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake’


  9. Acorn
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I must be careful here, I am angry. I have just listened to two gobs-on-a-stick on Radio 4 Today programme. One from OFGEM and one now from UK Energy (ex British Banksters); the latter being the trade lobby outfit for the electricity corporates. Please believe me that they were both talking PR bu****it. Some of us have forgotten more about electricity supply than these two will ever know.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink


      If energy supply companies are to be required by law to inform their customers of a lower rate available from a competitor then it seems to me the government will be legislating to enforce what in effect would be the practices of a cartel.

      Alternatively, energy companies charging a higher rate will go bankrupt as they loose customers and we will end up with a “last man standing” monopoly.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      I think all the current frenetic talk about switching to get the lowest rate is to divert attention from the effect of policy on increasing energy costs.

    • Atlas
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Acorn do you mean how, after all the buzz-words, next winter it will be a case of 210 Volts and falling?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Acorn–Just about everything seems wrong with the government’s approach to Energy and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when this lot, who do so much to make Energy more expensive for fatuous reasons – EU related of course – seek to create a false market in electricity. Anytime now someone will discover – when the lights go out perhaps – that this latest highly non Conservative idea is simply going to reduce supply.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Competition and different tariffs has become a smokescreen for proffering and blaming the price rises on everyone except themselves. How many billing companies made a loss and how many went bust last year? None. One apologist was saying that the potential reduction in competition would be akin to setting a standard beer price for pubs. Oh really? Do we have a choice of different types of and quality of electricity and whether to use this product? No. It is supplied and used by the same company the billing company or barman then presents us with the bill.
      If they where forced to make everyone pay the highest it would have happened immediately and I mean within hours of Cameron’s speech. Companies hiding behind their own systems, that they themselves created saying they cannot be changed. Ram it.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        An identical product (electricity) with huge confusion marketing to deceive the customers.
        The solution is a standard APR measurement of cost or basis of quote, based on a rate that is fixed for a certain period to make fair comparisons simple.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 20, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          Hundred and fifty quid TV licence with no ‘choice’ but to buy one. Don’t hear much about the choice of using gas water and electricity from the fantasists. You can also ‘choose’ not to use these services too.
          3 kW diesel generator less than five hundred quid? Hmmm interesting. That day will not be far off.

          • Richard
            Posted October 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

            Bazman, I looked into this when I lived miles from nowhere and had to rely on a poor elecricity supply and exepensive oil fired central heating.
            Im afraid that a generator running even on cheap red diesel can only be a good stand by.
            Ruuning constantly it is very expensive.

  10. Alan Wheatley
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    “This is an opportunity for both sides to have a new and more sensible relationship on this set of issues.”

    But, as we know for years of practical experience and example, the EU is not a “sensible” organisation, it is driven by ideology.

    The objectives inherent within the EU dictate a direction of travel divergent from where I, and most British, wish to go. Fiddling around with “relationships” is akin to fiddling while Rome burns.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      It in not drive by “ideology” that is a cover it is driven by greed, corruption and a desire for power and to suppress democracy.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        Like tax cuts for the rich?

  11. Gary
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    It can be argued by looking at the banking crisis that London boomed because it was unregulated. Almost every large derivative blowup happened in London, from Madoff, to AIG, to JP Morgan rogue trader. And the rest.

    This in itself is no bad thing. The bad part was that none, except Madoff , was allowed to fail. Risk to the banks was placed onto taxpayers instead, and banks were bailed out and bank bonuses were never impacted. Capitalism ceased to operate in London. A Robber Baron culture attracted the world’s dodgy dealers. This remains in place.

    If this is what we are protecting , then we need to look at ourselves. This is sodom en gomorra culture will be our ruin.

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      I am glad to read that there is someone else in the UK who gets it. The big shame is I bet that most of the contributors here who are in favour of keeping the status quo with the banks are on fixed incomes and are going to be first to suffer the next (and probably final) time it blows up in their face.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Robber baron culture and their apologists who believe that defending this right to rob is fundamental in case they ever find themselves in the same position.

      • Richard
        Posted October 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Agreed , until the bankers feel that they will suffer and their banks will be allowed to go bust there will be no change in their attiitude to risk.
        Save the world Gordon has caused this by spending our billions nationlising the failed banks

  12. merlin
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    The City of London has ceded control of regulation to the EU.

    If the City of London does not accept all EU regulation it will be banned etc etc.


    The City of London IS the most successful financial trading centre in the world, it should be calling the shots not the EUSSR. Yes some regulation is necessary but I always think that behind the EUSSR there is always something more sinister and corrupt. The EUSSR woud love to completely control the City of London, since their philosophy is that THEY must control the markets, they are anti free market remember. Paris and Frankfurt are meant to be financial centres, they will never match the City of Lo0ndon ever, not even new York is as successful as The City of Lonodon. I would just say NO to further regulation by the EUSSR and resist any further demands to control our great fionancial capital, tragically we have 3 social democrat parties in the UK who are totally obedient puppetts to the EUSSR so I am not hopeful that we will disobey.

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      If anybody is “anti free market” it is the Anglo-American banking cartel. They misallocate capital away from other genuine capitalists with their demands for bail outs because being crony capitalists they refute the basic tenet that capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell. While being keep on life support at the expense of other productive capitalists they rig markets e.g. LIBOR, manipulate the price of commodities and rip off their retail customers with loans swops and PPI plans.

  13. Acorn
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    As I know Redwoodians are dedicated followers of the EU and all its little foibles, JR in particular, will go NUTS for this link. Did you know there are now 271 NUTS level 2 REGIONS in the EU. I think the plan is that each of those will eventually have a Governor appointed by the EU Commission President. Of the NUTS level 3 regions, (all 1303 of them), guess which one has the highest GDP per capita. Inner London West. Who would have guessed that? See fig 1.1. .

    • uanime5
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Wouldn’t it be faster to have the member of the European Council representing each country to appoint these Governors? After all the European Council does decide who is on the Commission.

      • Acorn
        Posted October 20, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        U’, forget terms like “country” and “nation” they are so yesterday. The new fatherland may well have to do just as you say. I expect you will have to sit a test paper to be admitted to the European Politburo (the word Council will be dropped; has democratic overtones, don’t want that). A bit like what the Chinese do nowadays. 😉 .

  14. Mark W
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    “London will be banned as a location for Euro business”

    If a eurosceptic used language of this nature there would be all the usual suspects lining up to dismiss the “little Englanders”.

    We are neighbours, there are many areas we can cooperate, there are many areas where we have no need to. Anglo nations have a fundementally different way of doing things. That’s life. We should be friends and let each other be. Threatening our global capital city is plain silly. No referendum, just leave the EU.

  15. SteveS
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I comfort myself that at least there are some Conservatives in positions of Government at this crucial stage of the EU project’s ‘development’, just think where we would be with Blair or Brown in the room saying yes to everything. No wonder the powers that be wanted to avoid a two speed Europe at all costs though, – just look at the logistical nightmare that the EU is facing now because of its two speeds. It won’t get any easier, so the opportunities suggested by Mr Redwood must surely either be there for the taking, orthe EU will try and ‘put us back in our box’ in which case the people will have to be consulted on our continuing membership.

  16. Jon Burgess
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I think most of us would agree with your analysis of what the Government should do. But if it doesn’t follow your advice, what then? What can you actually do about it?

  17. David Langley
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Completely agree with this post. We are in business to trade with all the world including the EuroZone. Doing business in a fast and profitable environment is fine. I am not interested in your politics or religion when making my living as long as you are not dictating to me. The fact that that business has a host country with some attributable costs is acceptable. The fact that it happens to be London with hundreds of years of experience is also ok. Greed is one thing, envy is dangerous.

  18. Pleb
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Once again the UK watches as Europe falls under a non elected tyranny. How long before we act to save Europe, from the Germans, for the third time.

  19. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Spot on. The EU will never stop trying to force all EU member states into the Euro zone.

  20. Bert Young
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Banking regulation in the EZ is as necessary there as it is here ; the whole of the world has learned a lesson of what happens when controls are weak . Of course we should support and encourage even tighter controls , however , the mechanisms put in place in Brussels are not the ones that should , or will , be accepted here . We must retain the right to legislate what we do ; the importance of Banking in our economy is proportionately and realistically more significant . EZ Banking control is a smokescreen and forerunner for centralised fiscal control ; I regard it as the harbinger of the EZ break up into North and South .

    • Andrew Johnson
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Can you please stop repeating the urban myth that the banks and financial institutions were not regulated. Ask anyone working in the City, many thousands were employed to produce all kinds of pointless information at the micro level concerning regulation for the likes of the FSA. The problems occurred at the macro level, where Government (Remember New Labour?) were not looking at the overall effects of their financial strategy. Why? Because they wanted even more tax revenue from the City and to keep their boom going for longer. Have we alll forgotten Mr. Brown’s ridiculous statement that he had abolished Britian’s boom and bust? What amazes me, is that the blame for the inevitable bust fell on the banks and not Blair and Brown’s government who were responsble for “regulation” whatever that might mean in today’s global computerised financial markets.

  21. peter davies
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Good post – It’ll be interesting to see what comes out of this. Whoever signed whatever treaty ceding this amount of control along with all the many other areas should be ashamed of themselves.

    Get the whole thing untangled before EZ takes us all down with them

  22. Alte Fritz
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    When I read this earlier the post seemed self evidently right. How wrong one can be! Having heard Mr Peston on The Word at One, I now realise that we will suffer greatly reduced influence over the City if we fail to cede central banking control to the ECB.

    So there we have it. You may more say over your own affairs if you have no control over them. At least that seems to be what Mr Peston said.

  23. merlin
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    John my comment is for some reason awaiting moderation cheers and thanks.

  24. Antisthenes
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    The EU is quickly morphing into the EUSSR now it wants to take a leaf out of the Chinese communist book and other authoritarian states and manipulate and control the euro as well. Inevitable I suppose when a monster is created that monster heeds nothing least of all the freedoms, prosperity and well being of the people of the lands that it controls. Deny access to the monster leave the EU and no longer be subject to the avarice and ambitions of that monster.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      So you’re claiming that every EU country is going to morph into a Soviet Socialist Republic? What’s going to happen to all the constitutional monarchies and when will the voting for the Soviet begin?

      • Richard
        Posted October 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        No unanime5 it won’t happen like that, power will gradually be taken into the centre bit by bit until one day the centre will have control.
        We are about half way there already.
        There will be no vote.

  25. merlin
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    @ jerry, @bazman @ unaime5


    Worth reading particulary jerry, since you thought that my acronym was the result of a crackpot-I assume you think that Daniel Hannan is also a crackpot?! Jerry- think before you write!

    • uanime5
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      You do realise this poster was a joke by the Daily Squib and wasn’t made by the EU.

    • Jerry
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      @merlin: If Mr D Hannan is using such a description (EUSSR) then yes, perhaps he might well be. Try asking some Russians what they think about comparing the antics of the EU and that of the old USSR…

    • Bazman
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      It’s called satire merlin and it looks like it went over your head like cardboard over London. Take a look at the magazine Private Eye. In the latest edition a top cyclist has been shamed…

  26. merlin
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I am at present reading the autobiography of Nigel Farage a recommended read if you want to find out what really goes on in the EUSSR so called parliament, nothing, by the way, could be further from the truth. It is basically anti -democratic in every single aspect and most of it is hidden from scrutiny by the general public. The EUSSR is the start of a completely totalitarian regime and the future freedom of every country in Europe is under threat. the only hope is UK

    • uanime5
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      If the EU is trying to hide what goes in the European Parliament why are all the debates recorded and put on their website? You can also watch the debates live on their website.

      • Jerry
        Posted October 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Also available via, a suitably aligned (9° East), satellite – not on the average Sky or Freesat set-up though.

  27. Merlin
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I should have said that the only hope is UKIP

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink


      I like Farrage he is an entertaining speaker and comes up with the odd amusing sound bite, like how many of Cathy’s colleagues used to be members of the of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (via the accession of the Baltic states). However he is not in Westminster and his party cannot even emulate what the Greenies have done and get at least one person elected as an MP. Farrage could not even beat Bercow FFS.

      You would be better like me in trying to eradicate the Conservative Party of its controlling Menshevik faction (in Russian it means “minority” and the word also sounds similar to the name of a former MP who was emblematic of everything that is useless with this government. Remember that once the Mensheviks have gone (the next election will almost certainly trigger the necessary purge) you have JR and a bunch of others who get it, with UKIP you have Farrage and eh that is it

      • Jerry
        Posted October 20, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        @Nina”: Farrage could not even beat Bercow

        He couldn’t even beat an independant, he came fourth, and nearly got himself killed in the process – due to his (constant) use of publicity stunts…

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 20, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          Oh, so now he’s been demoted to fourth position?

          Why then does the BBC still say:

          John Bercow Speaker 22,860
          John Stevens Buckinghamshire Campaign for Democracy, The 10,331
          Nigel Farage UK Independence Party 8,4101

          Maybe you should get in touch with them and tell them to correct their error, put Farage in the fourth position not the third.

          You might also get them to correct their description of John Stevens to “Ex-Tory MEP, who broke away in 1999 to form the Pro Euro Conservative Party, and then when that bombed joined the Liberal Democrats, masquerading as an independent candidate under the front of the Buckinghamshire Campaign for Democracy with the active support of both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties.”

          On more than one occasion I’ve directly asked John Stevens whether he was a Liberal Democrat member at the time of the 2010 general election, but got no answer.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 21, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

            Missed for moderation, which is a pity as it leaves Jerry’s false claim unchallenged.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

            Denis, Mr Farage still lost, he still came behind an independent [1] (by some 2k votes) if it was third or fourth really isn’t the issue – UKIP/Farage = Unelectable…

            [1] how ever you try and spin it he was standing as an independant, John Stevens appeared on the ballot paper as “Buckinghamshire Campaign for Democracy”.

    • Jerry
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      @merlin: No it is not young merlin, because UKIP can’t get elected, not once in 18 years, thus Mr Cameron has already done more at the national government level in 2 years (even with the LDs in tow) than UKIP and Mr Farage has done in 18 years, so please stop your hyperbolic rabble-rousing! 🙂

      When UKIP get their first Westminster MP elected, or an existing MP is prepared to cross the floor in the name of UKIP, then and only then can you or UKIP even start to make the same claims that the SDP did, only then can you actually start to dream about going back to your constituencies and preparing for government…

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m getting rather tired of hearing people talk about a possible “opening” or a “golden opportunity” for the UK to “repatriate powers from the EU” or “renegotiate” or “change our relationship”.

    When Merkel wanted a change to the EU treaties she didn’t passively wait for an “opportunity” to present itself through the actions of others, she just said that she wanted a change to the EU treaties, and she pushed for it and she got it, and moreover without Cameron making any use of that “opportunity” she gave him to ask for other treaty changes in return for his assent.

    From October 29th 2010:

    “European leaders have given way to German demands for a change to the European treaties … ”

    “In a significant victory for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, early on Friday (29 October), EU prime ministers and presidents backed “a limited treaty change” to deliver tighter fiscal discipline and allow for the creation of a permanent bail-out fund for members of the eurozone.”

    And Merkel didn’t get that treaty change she wanted by giving notice that Germany was leaving the EU under Article 50 TEU on voluntary withdrawal from the EU, instead she did the obvious thing and invoked Article 48 TEU on revision of the EU treaties, starting on page 41 here:

    “The Government of any Member State, the European Parliament or the Commission may submit to the Council proposals for the amendment of the Treaties.”

    The big difference is that when the member state is Germany the government has a much clearer idea of what it wants to happen about the EU than when the member state is the UK.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Also Germany is the only EU country that can help bail out countries that are in trouble, due to its large economy that is producing a surplus. This gives Germany more bargaining power.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        We would prefer countries in trouble to leave the Euro and Germany to have less power.

  29. Terry
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    But who gave away the City to the EU? I did not vote for it, neither did any other British citizen? No one voted for it but Faustus Blair gave it to them and that is the real problem here. There is no democracy and there never has been democracy, within the EU.

    That is why it is rightly named, the EUSSR. And to reinforce my point, who else but the EU would add the Hammer and Sickle to a Crucifix, the Star of David and a Muslim Moon and Star in a promotional emblem about “sharing”? No Swastika of course because the evil Nazis were anti-communists.

    The EU, with its unelected, totalitarian commissars, will drive the whole of Europe into the barren ground, where there is no growth and it has already started. These commissars will not suffer the consequences but all of the citizens of Europe will most certainly take all of the associated pain.

    Prevention is better than cure but we’d better be quick, time is running out for us and for Europe.

  30. sm
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink


    Indeed , but its interesting to note that its the threat to and potentially of the ‘city’ that might finally be the impetus for political action on both sides.

    I just really hope we are capable of cleaning house ourselves and co-operating with the EU to close down the offshore and onshore abuses. Indeed i don’t have a particular problem with a financial transaction tax on derivatives or high frequency trading or on speculative naked shorts, particularly if negotiated worldwide.

    Lets just hope we split our systemic importantly banks up properly. To ensure the state cannot be leveraged by interests within banking and politics.

    Per internet strapline ”Paul-Volcker:UK-bank-reforms-will-be-hard-to-achieve”

  31. Terry
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    When information like this is obtained it makes me wonder why we are a willing sucker in this conspiracy.
    The City of London ” would lose out to the French and German centres”.

    Cannot our leaders see what the end game is here?
    The Franco German Alliance finally beats Britain into submission.
    Not by force of arms nor by force of agenda. But by the internal weakness of our successive leaders , who submit to every command. Why? Why do they shun their own but turn to Brussels?
    Somebody please explain why they would all do this to my country. Tell me what is wrong with fighting for your country? WWII was a complete waste if nothing is done.

  32. Merlin
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    This general idea about renegotiation with the EUSSR is a fallacy, it will NEVER happen, no powers will ever be negotiated, let’s get to where we are now.

    Assuming that negotiation with the EUSSR is impossible, it’ s simple really the UK says to the EUSSR we are leaving NOW.

    Reply The party that says that most clearly still does not have a single MP, and you need MPs to repeal the 1972 Act.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Re reply: indeed, and voters would be wise to take this into when choosing which party to vote for at the next general election.

  33. Merlin
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Fundamental idea it is impossible to negotiate with the EUSSR discuss.

    Reply: We have endlessly discussed this. As there is no Parliamentary majority to simply pull out or even for a vote, we have to start with a negotiation and the move on to a referendum.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Re reply.

      As to starting with a negotiation, is there a Parliamentary majority for such as thing, and if so to what extent is there agreement as to the scope of the negotiations and their objectives? Further, and more important, what EU representative body or organisation or grouping (or whatever) have you identified as willing to negotiate with you?

      As to moving to a referendum, as there is no Parliamentary majority now for a vote, what change do you foresee within Parliament such that a referendum will become possible?

      Reply: The aim is to persaude the government to negotiate. They would start by negotiating with France and Germany who want our support for their growing union, a union we cannot join.

    • Jerry
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      @JR Reply: Indeed John, it is funny how some anti-EU bloggers wish to be as undemocratic as they claim the EU is (and the old USSR was…), makes one wonder what their idea of democracy might be and what would replace (in their perception) the current europhile UK elite? I’m starting to wonder if under their leadership any EU exit would simply be jumping from the pan into the fire, one sans-democratic elite for another…

  34. Jon
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Overall I’m not sure I’m trusting Mr Cameron on this. His starting point for negotiations for the EU budget seems to be a year on year increases several times more than the growth of our economy. EU CPI is currently 2.6%. For financial regulation I read he is opting for a complex voting system. Basically we are out numbered when it comes to financial regulation whether its the EU or the Eurozone.

    I realise the Conservatives would get a better deal than Labour and the Lib Dems but I sense the leadership wants to be a part of it and that includes financial regulation. With 26 against the City if we are part of the web they will get us and bring it down.

    Reply: I too am impatient to move to the “neq relationship” with the EU, but at least Mr Cameron, unlike Mr Miliband and Mr Clegg, recognises we need a different direction of travel on EU power.

    • Jon
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the comment. Yes I agree he represents a much better direction than the others. We are getting close to the nub of a high stakes poker game.

  35. Barbara Stevens
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Well Mr Redwood, it seems if Merkal wants anything she just does it and gets her way. If we want to change anything we have to beg or ask the other members for permission. The banking crisis as changed everything and we now find ourseleves entrenched with the EU and the eurozone members; what we should be doing is exciting as quick has we can. Cameron is failing us, and some how I just don’t think he will lead us in the right direction. They won’t concede anything let alone any banking that will give the UK help. What we will see in the next few months is them making it so difficult for us to trade in euros, they will pick up the threads in Paris and Frankfurt. That is what they have always wanted. What the City should be doing and Cameron and Osbourne, is making way for a fight back and stimulating the City here to retain all markets. Forget the EU, the fight back begins now. They assume because we are members of the EU, although not in the eurozone, they will and can dictate, and they will with gusto to get what they want.
    The question your government should be asking is, what they can do, will Cameron protect the City, how he will do it, and what is his final task if it gets rough, which it will?
    France is intent on breaking the City for its own ends if we do not comply; tax transactions will be imposed, they need this revenue to pay their debts. Now we will really see Cameron’s mettle, it better be think and strong, a weak man is not what we need or want. The money the City brings to the state coffers is an attraction Germany and France envy, we should protect it wholeheartly. I just hope Cameron and the Conservatives are up to the job in hand, only time will tell.

  36. uanime5
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Is the City objecting to these regulations? If not then why should anyone oppose them?

    Also George Osborne was caught in First Class with a Standard ticket and fined £160.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      What sort of idiot country wants its Chancellor of the Exchequer to travel Standard class? He should be working on a train and needs peace and quiet in which to do it.

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      No he was not. Read Virgin’s public announcement, or would that spoil the story?

    • Bazman
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Labour MP John Mann: ” A posh boy in a posh seat with a plebs ticket tells you everything you need to know about the chancellor George Osborne.” What a Ricochet. Brilliant.

      • Richard
        Posted October 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        You dont travel on inter-city trains very much then Bazman.
        If you find second class full, as it often is, then many go and sit in the nearly empty first class carriages and then pay an upgrade fee when the ticket inspector comes around.
        Its what the train companies want you to do.
        Its why they put on loads of first class carriages in relation to the number of second class ones.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

          A few years ago I was unable to get a seat in second class after a day in London I and my wife sat in first class and was not asked to pay extra. Once I took the Heathrow express by mistake and when the ticket was checked did not have to pay either. Can be charming when I want to be.

  37. sm
    Posted October 20, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Wow looks like regulation worked in this instance! Full marks to the train staff and company for not being intimidated.

  38. Derek Emery
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Today the world has a vast interconnected high speed network that allows prices such as a share price to be posted simultaneously throughout the world. Vince Cable wants to control or ban electronic trading where computers hop in and out out of shares many times per second because of volatility effects. This can only be done for shares or other instruments that are only traded in the UK or EU as electronic trading of any share traded worldwide is out of the hands of the the UK or EU. Interestingly some traders has dislike electronic trading because they see it as removing previous opportunities they had to make money (i.e it reduced volatility)

    One reason companies came to London was the high rating the of legal and other advice and this will still apply

    The EU is a low growth area of the world which is why it is steadily being overtaken economically by the rest of the world. The consumer markets of China and India will triple over the course of this decade and amount to $10 trillion annually by 2020 see By a little past 2020 just the consumer markets of China and India are likely to exceed the total size of the EU GDP.

    This is bound to lead to a boom in the size of their financial markets. They will hardly care whatever rules and regulations the UK or EU impose as they will not apply to their markets.

    New rules or regulations could affect the amount of trade the rest of the world uses London for but the EU is hardly going to be concerned about that.

  39. Derek Emery
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Why not split the way the City works according to the markets? For EU business the EU rules and regulations woulds apply. Companies would set up Chinese walls for how they work with EU and non-EU business.

    Some companies have to do this when dealing with contracts with different companies already. This can mean ordinary employees only working in one area to maintain the Chinese wall. Only top executive see the overall picture but they haven’t the time to get involved in the details.

    Most trading is electronic nowadays so companies could have IT devoted to the EU and IT for the rest of the world each working to the rules for that area.

  40. Derek Emery
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    The UK wants banks to be split so splitting banks and financial institutions so they can cope with EU and non EU business separately should be relatively easy.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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