The wide ranging review of how much power the EU has is still continuing throughout government. Yesterday I had the opportunity to explain to the Treasury offical in charge of their review how I think powers should be brought back in their area.
Those of you who simply wish to leave the EU will argue this reveiw is a waste of time. As there is no prospect of this Parliament voting for the UK’s exit from the EU, nor even approving a referendum to allow the people to vote for Out if they wish, there is something to be said for the review. It will firstly inform more people of just how wide ranging the powers now taken by the EU are. Secondly it could provide a substantial platform of powers we need back under any renegotiation before UK voters would consider voting to stay in. It will inform the negotiation.
The Treasury has one major area where the case for complete repatriation is overwhelming – banking regulation. As the UK knows to its cost, if a government gets banking regulation wrong and manages to preside over a collapse, it is the UK taxpayers, not the EU, that pays money to prop up the system. The UK is still a sovereign nation in a crucial respect where the members of the Euro are not. The UK can decide to pump as much money as the Bank of England sees fit into money markets and the inter bank market to keep solvent banks liquid. Euro members have to look to the ECB and European level decisions.
As we pay the bills for any bad banks a UK government wants to help, and as we still have the capacity for our Central Bank to act as lender of last resort and decide how much money to create or allow, we have no need of banking regulation from the continent. There needs to be clarity. The solvency and liquidity of British banks depends on the actions of the Bank of England, supervised by the Treasury. Let us repatriate all banking regulation to the UK, and have a system of co-operation and information sharing with the ECB and EU regulators as we do with the US Fed and regulators for their banks.
PS I am told not many Eurosceptics are writing in to those conducting the Review of competences. It is important they do so, as officials like weighing the balance of submissions before concluding their reports.