The UK’s financial services are mainly regulated by the EU

 

In recent years there has been an avalanche of new regulations from the EU governing banking, financial services and insurance. I attended a seminar last week to catch up with the latest developments. It was a long meeting.

We are witnessing the early developments of regulation from the main European Supervisory Agencies (ESAs).

UCITs V has been developed to regulate investment funds. CRD IV is to regulate bank capital. The EU is working on a Bank Resolution and Recovery Directive, and on proposals for bank structural reform. The banking ESA is undertaking stress tests on banks and is seeking extra powers including binding arbitrations.

The Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) will propose  a resolution mechanism to be approved by the Commission, to be triggered by the ECB. The Resolution fund will be paid for by all the Euro member states, but will be 60% mutualised within two years of its establishment.

The EU is working on changes or improvements to its anti money laundering legislation, on payments, benchmarks, and KIDIP consumer protection. It is backing the Asset Quality Review (AQR), and will allign EU leverage ratios for banks with Basel III international agreement.  The SSM, the new banking supervisor in the ECB, plans 1000 staff to supervise the main EU banks.  There will be a single rule book for banks across the single market, not just the Euro area. The system of living wills for  banks will be incorporated into the new system.

The aim will be a comprehensive system of consumer and professional market regulation in all financial areas. Every area will need to conform to the general rules against financial crime and money laundering. There will then be differing individual requirements sector by sector depending on the type of business and the nature of the customers.

Increasingly the UK regulators will be enforcing EU requirements. I mention this in a neutral spirit, but if we wish to have a well informed debate about the relative powers of the Uk and EU governments it is always now wise first to ask what are their respective powers and responsibilities. In the area of financial regulation the EU is clearly now in charge.

The EU is also  keen to increase its involvement in taxation. The UK has declined to join the scheme to introduce a Financial Transaction Tax, but other countries will go ahead without us. The EU is also planning to require more exchange of information over savings taxes, extanding the range of current proposals, as they wish to move closer to common savings taxation.

The UK says that as it is not in the Euro area it can still have its own distinctive system. Yet developments show that in so many ways membership of the EU as a non Euro member still sucks us into the general movement towards EU control.

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64 Comments

  1. arschloch
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    OK then John here is yet another example of the EU making things worse then? Well if it is it is because the EUs regulation of financial services is not severe enough. We know HMG is not bothered about really protecting the consumer. Little George Osborne, evidencing that he really is out of his depth, remember, said just prior to the banking crisis that regulation in the UK was too tough and anti-competitive. The FCA and its predecessor the FSA are fairly useless too, they will instigate retrospective reviews on the banks, life insurers and IFAs but they have never been in a position to prevent any of the miss-selling scandals of recent years taking place. Remember if you are going to take up little George’s offer of being able to “liberate” your pension fund, financial advisors only possess a qualification that is equal to an exam after the first year at a university (they do not exactly define this by saying in what subject or what sort of “university” either). And you are going to trust your life savings with that level of expertise? Here it is in black white directly from the FCAs website. You know what happened the last time the Conservatives offered you the “freedom” to plan your retirement.

    http://www.fca.org.uk/firms/being-regulated/meeting-your-obligations/firm-guides/guide-financial-advisers/rdr-professionalism

    • Hope
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      JR you are a wasted talent in the Tory party. Everything EU is hidden from the public gaze including the MSM outlets. On Friday thousands protested against European Union austerity policy in Brussels and were water cannoned by the police, where was this reported? If it were the Ukraine or other country the EU wishes to grab it would be all over the press and state broadcaster (BBC). Do not expect stealth measure over our finance industry to make news or the government to speak about it. What announcement did Cameron make about losing the EU court case about the UK finance industry?

      Everyone is still waiting for the details of next Tory taxpayer funded gay sex scandal that Mr Bercow is reported to be reviewing this week. I thought Cameron said it was going to be an open transparent government? Does this also mean all things EU?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Wasted indeed the Cabinet is desperate for someone with a working compass. Although, if they just turned round by 180 degrees on most issue that would be about right.

        Certainly on HS2, renewable energy, the 299+ tax rises, Maria Millar, the EU, quack medicine on the NHS, the N H S, Grammar schools, employment laws, gender neutral insurance ………….. is it too late to clone Norman Tebbit?

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    One assumes the EU will make a huge mess of it. Just as they did with fishing, CAP, the ERM, food safety, the EURO, the economies of Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Greece & Ireland, the Ukraine disaster, the absurd enforced equality agenda, the over regulation of everything, the legal systems and the expensive renewable energy agenda.

    All very worrying indeed and Miliband will doubtless pour petrol on to the fire after 2015.

    Is it they who are pushing the absurd slotting system for bank loans?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Off topic I read there is now even a proposal to tighten up on principal private residence tax relief and the election thereof. Is this to take Cameron’s (“I am a low tax Conservative by instinct” – just not by any of his actions alas) & Osborne’s tax increases to the round number of 300 this parliament.

      Judge them by their actions for they speak with forked tongue.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    I am surprised at your naivety. I really am. It is not like you.

    The bigwigs of Europe are saying all the time that what is needed is “more Europe”. They say that they intend to make a European Country with its own flag and its own national anthem. When the “election”: for President of the Commission comes up, all three candidates are saying that.

    Banking, of course, is a main “pillar” of that state. And the EU is so last century. The Germans, with their tragic history of losing their currency twice in the 1900s, insist on the ECB being in control of their currency and therefore of all the EU finance. They surrendered the mark for the Euro, remember.

    Having said all that, many of the EU financial directives are apparently “downloaded” from other regulatory bodies like the bank for International Settlements, Basel, and the financial Stability Board. I got that from the outstanding paper by Dr Richard North.
    (RAENORTH@aol.com).

    If people as clued up as yourself are this naif, I am disturbed.

    • Hope
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      The Irish PM spoke on bathe news with the Irish flag side by side with the EU flag. It is all about conditioning the public mindset.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Ha, the leader of the revolutionary government in Kiev does that all the time, and Ukraine is not even in the EU, yet.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        I noticed that too. You’d have thought the Irish would have learned their lesson, but then some people never learn. They can’t even spell Edna right.

        Tad

        • Hope
          Posted April 11, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          The Irish who fought for freedom from the UK!

  4. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    A system of living wills for banks. That is a directive I am confused about. You say that this will only apply to banks where the Euro and single market apply . To me a will signifies death and an intention to distribute assets. Yet death in a banking sense must mean that it cannot function with prosperity therefore its debts are redistributed?

    An increase in taxation would mean that the taxes collected would not be for the UK’s public use , but under new regulations would be used for other countries , yet as Farage pointed out, the UK is sometimes denied a voice in the making of new rules.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      sorry, early morning carelessness.., not an increase in taxation , but European involvement in taxation… perhaps a Freudian slip.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    The EU is not fit to run anything at all, it is clearly run mainly for the benefit of EU bureaucrats and employees and is clearly hugely corrupt.

  6. Andyvan
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    What a comforting thought. The single most corrupt, inept, undemocratic and generally useless organization in Europe is in charge of regulating our money. Does this ring any bells with anyone that has any assets in this country. It does with me. Bad enough when our own larcenous politicos were in charge of stealing our savings, they are just amateurs compared with the Brussels breed. I’m moving my money out of this upcoming financial disaster zone.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      “What a comforting thought. The single most corrupt, inept, undemocratic and generally useless organization in Europe …”

      Is it ? How about (in the sports field) UEFA ? I know FIFA and the IOC aren’t confined to Europe but they qualify too. Also if you study the history of the UN you will see they have been far far worse in the past (1970s particularly). And the IPCC now. It is interesting that any supranational body you can think of is prey to the vices you note – it seems to be inherent in the structure. On the other hand in the UK such faults can mostly be found at the local government level. It seems the optimal level (bad though it may still be) for political effectiveness is at the national level.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      The last time I went in the bank to pay some bills and also to get £500 in cash I was grilled by the bank worker – what was it for? – why wasn’t I paying by cheque or other means? If I was buying something where was it from and how much? -I now go to the ATM and keep drawing my balance down -with no questions. I find it ridiculous that they want to know everything when I want some out – but don’t bother when I put some in.

      • fg@yhaoo.co.uk
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        It’s your money so tell them to mind their own business if they want to keep your custom.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        You and I could both hazard a guess about where that nonsense has originated, and the chances are that our guess would be correct.

  7. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Of more immediate importance to me is that Scottish MPs will still be able to take part in debates in the UK parliament and vote on matters affecting England even if Scotland votes for independence. What is your view on this Mr Redwood, did you vote for or against?

  8. alan jutson
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Sorry John not a Banking man.

    Thus all rather confusing for a simple soul like myself.

    Sounds very complicated and expensive, is it ?

    Are these proposed new regulations going to stop Banks going Bust ?
    Are these new series of regulations going to somehow stop Banking Directors making poor decisions.?
    Are these new proposals going to stop Banks miss selling ?
    Are these new proposals going to stop money laundering ?.
    Are these new proposals going to increase the cost for Customers?
    Are these new proposals going to stop the fiddling of interest rates ?
    Are these new proposals going to stop Banks demanding loans back with immediate effect from financially sound Companies, which then puts those Companies at risk ?.

    Who is going to regulate all of this, and do they have a good track record ?

    Is this just a scheme that is designed to take business away from the UK and direct more into the EuroZone ?.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Is this cause for a referendum, with more powers being transferred to Europe.

      Reply YEs, of course – further evidence for the need for a referendum. I also think all this extra regulation is unlikely to stop future crises, but may well drive business away from the EU.

      • mick
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        Good morning John, if you are right and it is a case for a referendum then yourself and the rest of your back benches should be shouting from the roof tops for your leader to be giving us one NOW and not 2017, and this time you should have the backing of your pals in Yellow being as it a transfer of power, or am i missing something !!!

        Reply We have been asking for an early referendum, and proposed and voted for one.

        • margaret brandreth-j
          Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:14 am | Permalink

          To reply; What was the intention of yesterdays debate ? The house was almost empty . Is everyone scared to express a view? David Nuttall wasn’t particularly fluent initially ( you escaped at the beginning of his contribution) but then, when not so scared to speak, was very straight about opt ins and opt outs.

      • alan jutson
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        Reply-reply

        Thanks John

        So who has the key to this referendum lock, who is going to use it, and when ?.

        Perhaps it will be Nick or Dave, or are these powers not powerful enough !!!!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          Who has the key? Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and the biased BBC it seems at the moment have the ke – certainly not the voters.

          The BBC seem to have decided they have been giving too much time to climate realists recently one assume they think 98% alarmists to 2% realists or similar is too much. Next they will be telling us they have given too much time to EU sceptics too.

      • Hope
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Regulation will be distinguished from law or power so that it does not count to have a referendum. You know the fiscal pact instead of a treaty to get around a referendum. Clegg and Cameron knew what was going on and helped to prevent a referendum taking place and failed to negotiate anything in return. Cameron being our chief EU negotiator I presume. A bit like delegated powers to the quangos which can bring alive EU directives without fuss and create a small firewall from Westminster so they can say nothing to do with us.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        reply to reply,
        I think Alan may well have meant that the much vaunted EU referendum ‘lock’, as enshrined in the European Union Act 2011 could and should be used. We know it won’t but the government and MPs should be made to explain why and be held accountable.

        Reply I described that Bill at the time as the “No Referendum” Bill.

        • Brian Tomkinson
          Posted April 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply,
          I see, that is another ‘lie’ that Clegg, Cameron Hague et al keep trundling out ad nauseam to deceive us. How can you bear to support such mendacious people who have no qualms about deceiving and bertaying the British people?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply:

        Then don’t you suspect a tincey-wincey little con upon the British people – yet another in a long line of cons perpetrated against them?

        Yet more powers going to the EU by stealth, but of course, they will argue this is just a tidying-up exercise.

        Tad

  9. Gary
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    London has become known as the world capital of financial fraud. LIBOR, forecast rigging, the London Whale trading scandal, AIG ,and various other scandals.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/36196e7a-a48e-11e3-b915-00144feab7de.html#axzz2yBWtwNQx

    Reply All large financial centres have the occasional scandal, and some of these scandals like LIBOR took place in more than one centre.

  10. Gina Dean
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    As we have the largest financial market it seems to me regulation is by the back door with no treaty change. This will impact more on the UK who is not in the euro zone. SHAFTED AGAIN I think.

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    JR, I’m afraid I have to repeat from an earlier thread:

    “However the most important point is that the eurofanatics have won and opponents of the euro have lost.”

    Even if certain federalising measures only apply to countries in the eurozone and not to all EU member states they will apply to us when the eurozone has expanded until it has engulfed us as well; in the long term the Tory party and present UK government policy of staying in the EU but not joining the euro would prove unsustainable.

    In any case, if Miliband meant what he said that option would not be offered on the ballot paper in any referendum triggered under his alternative “referendum lock”; the choice would be between joining the euro or leaving the EU altogether.

  12. Bert Young
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I am always disturbed when I learn that the EU is flexing its muscles ; the ever creeping tentacles of Brussels does menace our state of independence and we must do more than simply ” resist ” . Of course I agree that the state of many banks and the system controlling them is particularly weak – certainly in Southern Europe , but , whether the method of bringing them up to par is best done from a centralised bureaucracy , is another matter . The proposals outlined in the resume of your blog this morning would make nonsense out of our own regulatory systems ; there would be little point in our adopting our own new measures of control if we signed up to the umbrella of the SSM . The best way forward is via the background and experience of the international regulatory bodies who are constantly monitoring what is going on ; their breadth and coverage together with the disciplines they can impose , are a more meaningful and respected source . There is little point in Brussels trying to duplicate these bodies or attempting to say they are better equipped .

  13. Leslie Singleton
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    What jumps to my mind, for the first time in half a century, and no doubt crazily, is a legal maxim by the name of Non Est Factum which I seem to remember translated as This Is Not My Deed. Such a plea was basically to the effect that the signer was saying that what he had actually signed was not what he thought he had signed, so the Contract or whatever couldn’t be enforced. I suspect this case was overruled because I have never heard of it since but it was in a standard textbook at the time and it is a great pity that we don’t have something similar available to us now. It’s party time for the bureaucrats in Brussels. The sooner we get Out the better of course.

  14. acorn
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Don’t worry about it JR. Of all the stuff that the EU gets wrong, including a basic fundament flaw in its economic structure; this may be the only bit they ever get somewhere near correct.

    The 2008 financial crash was caused by Wall St and the City of London. It was the inevitable result of the US/UK political class, hanging out with, and dazzled by, Banksters. The latter devised scams like selling mortgages to people they new could never pay them back. Then invented the CDO to shift the risk off their books to mug punters before foreclosure on those mortgages. Then financing their mates to buy out of foreclosure, the same properties at fire sale prices.

    You know that the vast majority of “financial services” have no public purpose; no socioeconomic value whatsoever. The Gambling Commission (GC) would be a more appropriate regulator. Particularly high frequency trading with computers. In GC terms these are “Class A Gaming Machines), where a profit depends on shifting more megabits per second than the next guy.

    • acorn
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      BTW. For those that read my link yesterday about “Maria Miller’s great hypocrisy is in representing people entirely in the interests of her own career”. Here is how the voters of Washington State overcame a situation where national political parties had virtually gained a total monopoly of the local candidate selection system. Even worse than the UK.

      I am not saying it is a cure all, but it could be better than what we have and incumbents historically have a major advantage. But, for instance, I suspect JR has a large personal vote in Wokingham along with a solid blue constituency. In a top two primary the voters might split their vote Eurosceptic and non-Eurosceptic. They could end up with a Eurosceptic Conservative preferring candidate (JR) and another Eurosceptic candidate preferring another; the same or no party. The top two going forward to the General Election could both be Eurosceptics and from different parties. That is Eurosceptisism is more important to the voters than which party they may prefer.

      Any takers ??? US parties hate this system and have and still are trying every trick in the book to discredit them when they get on citizen initiative ballot papers.

      http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/faqcandidates.aspx .

      Reply I don’t see how this works, as in the UK the main parties would still be able to choose an official party candidate and endorse them, and most people would probably want to vote for a main party candidate as in past electiosn to have influence over who forms the government. In Wokingham it would mean on past form voters in the GE would only have a choice between Lib Dems and Conservatives, as the other parties and independents would have gone out at the primary stage instead

      • acorn
        Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        True, but the voters who were disenfranchised at the primary stage, and always get so under the current system; get a second chance to have a say at the General Election (and might even turn out to vote). Say you would be the Eurosceptics choice and the LibDem would, most likely, be the Europhiles choice. The whole constituency can get involved again.

        Say, a candidate is parachuted in from the party headquarters into a safe seat (a party rising star or an expenses sinner being brought back into the hive, after two years). The locals may well object and a well known local candidate gets on the ballot and states he/she “prefers” the same party. There is no official candidate of a party on the primary ballot, you vote for the individual’s manifesto which may or may not be a national party manifesto, in whole or in part.

        The bottom line is the elected person is not obligated to a party before country, more the other way around.

        Reply In the Conservative party Central Office cannot parachute an outsider into a seat – all they can do is recommend one of their favourites to local people who make the decision who to have as candidate.

  15. Oscar De Ville
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Your account of EU tentacles embracing finance affairs is horrific, and WE CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT FOR 2017.
    With your grasp of financial affairs, can you not somehow arm Mr Farage with your grasp of the dangers facing us all ?
    Whatever his weaknesses, he claims to have traded in the City and to admire its work. He is also free to be forceful in pressing his views whereas you, with the best will in the world, are inevitably constrained by party loyalty and personal prospects.
    If not him, then some other major well-established figure prepared to speak out ?

    • Chris
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the tentacles are all too obvious, and confirmed again by Viviane Reding in her latest pronouncements with regard to 75%, and even 80% of the legislation. Readers can probably guess on which website the wonderful videoclip of VR has just been posted.

  16. Peter Davies
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Articles like this are one of the reasons I take the time to read this blog. Like many other of the stealthy things that the EU do, this probably will barely get a mention in the press.

    We are sleep walking into a fully federal EU superstate!

    • Eric
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      I am beginning to think that it is not so much that the EU is stealthy, but that the British press and politicians are negligent (Douglas Hurd vis the Maastricht Treaty: “Now we’ve signed it – we had better read it.”). With the honourable exception of people like Mr Redwood, I suspect that many of our elected officials are simply naive and have not troubled to inform themselves about the inner workings of the institutions that comprise the EU.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Peter, we have been on that road for forty years. It’s the frog in a pot syndrome. Put a frog into a pot of boiling water, and it’ll jump out again. Put a frog into a pot of cold water, and slowly turn up the heat, and it’ll stay there until it dies. That is precisely what is happening with our involvement in the EU. We are being drawn inexorably in by the Majors, the Clarkes, the Heaths, the Hesletines, the Cleggs, the Milibands, the Blairs, et al. yet they all said that was not the case and we had nothing to fear. In my book, that equates to a liars and a traitors, and they should be treated as such.

      Tad

  17. Terry
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    If the EU had its ultimate way, we would all be paying our earnings (100%) directly into the Brussels Treasury. We would be able to drawn down (upon request) to buy just our food for we would own nothing. Clothes would be provided by the Commissars just like dear Chairman Mao did for his people. The Federal State of USSREU would own all assets and us plebs would merely hire vehicles and rent our homes from them. All factories and companies would be State owned and nobody would own any stocks. And nobody would have a life of their own.

    It seems to me that the West is moving ever closer towards the principles of Communism whereas the East is rapidly adopting the principles of Capitalism. What a funny (and dangerous) world we now live in. I do not want this to happen.

    Even dedicated socialist, Tony Benn, was anti-EU because he considered them anti-democratic. Amen to that.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Bob Crow was anti-EU too.

      The BBC didn’t report either.

    • Excalibur
      Posted April 8, 2014 at 3:15 am | Permalink

      Historically, the left, academics and the intelligentsia, and by inference EU apologists too, have endorsed policies inimical to ‘the ordinary man’. Thus the formation of the Fabian Society early in the last century,and its stated intention to destroy the family (in which it has succeeded beyond its dreams); the eugenics of the twenties and thirties endorsed by writers and others ; more recently the deliberate changing of the demographics of England in support of leftist ideology; and now the sinister and insidious deprivation of our sovereignty by those with another agenda. The ‘do not ruscitate’ notices on the beds of the elderly are not incidental to this.

      • Terry
        Posted April 8, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        DNR notices should be posted only with the next of kin’s agreement. However, given the abundance of left-wing non-jobs within the NHS perhaps many of them think they are now, ‘God’ and can do as they wish. Even the husband of staunch labourite Anne Clywd was not safe in an NHS hospital. Very worrying for the British citizens of today.

  18. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    There is a danger that the degree of EU interference in our affairs will go unnoticed because Eurosceptics in the House of Commons are in a sense too lazy. Perpetual guerrilla warfare in parliament is what is needed. Tactics such as introducing Private Members bills to repeal the EU’s right to impose financial regulation on the UK, voting against Directives issued by the EC, introducing a Bill to create 500 Eurosceptic peers so that a Referendum bill passes, voting to reduce the salaries of Herr von Rumpy Pumpy and Baroness Whats-her-name to €1. These tactics need to be applied both within our Parliament and the European Parliament. Doubtless we would be outvoted, sometimes in the Commons, sometimes in the Lords and sometimes in Strasbourg but these would not be futile gestures. They would bring continuously to the notice of the public what was going on. It is important to get things on the record.

    We also need allies to get on the record that we are unhappy with the exercise of a common European foreign and defence policy, witness the disastrous nonsense on the Ukraine.

    Finally, we should be active in getting Member States to leave the Euro zone if they are unhappy with the march towards Federalism.

    Time for a great big bust up.

    Reply Conservative Eurosceptic MPs regularly force debates and divisions on the long march of EU powers. The problem is we get little or no support from the official opposition.

  19. Chris
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Your last paragraph above is amply illustrated by Viviane Reding’s latest confirmation about the percentage of UK legislation that is linked/determined by the EU. Her answer: 75% or even 80%. She is quite unequivocal and even Nick Clegg would have trouble contradicting her. I copy the link, if you will allow it, Mr Redwood, as I believe this is of fundamental importance to all eurosceptics, let alone the electorate of this country:
    http://www.ukip.org/the_truth_is_out_at_least_75_of_our_laws_are_made_by_eu_institutions_says_senior_european_commissioner_viviane_reding

  20. Paul Cohen
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    As time passes we are increasingly pulled into the EU cave.
    At the end of WW2 when the UK was economically on the floor after years of conflict we seemed to get little recognition of this undertaking from Europe. De Gaulle kept us out of the Common Market (of six) for years. Of this six we had to rescue four of them from attacks by the other two! This is why the UK always seems to be on the fringe of EU matters.

  21. Antisthenes
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    The Bureaucratic steamroller moves ever forward that it was being propelled nationally was bad enough. Add in the EU to give it greatly increased horse power a further remote and distant institution staffed by multi-layered civil servants. Who do not have any understanding whatsoever of the real world and only work to an agenda that suits their needs and ideology and not that of consumers then you have an environment being made that is very toxic. The consequences of which is obvious to see for those with a modicum of wit competition, choice and entrepreneurial endeavour will all but vanish. All that will remain will be monopolistic corporations and public sector providers. The mechanism that favours crony capitalism and socialist centralised planing and control will be firmly entrenched in the economic system of most of Europe. The only difference between the EU and the old USSR will be that there will be a toleration of a private sector albeit it will not give consumers good quality or value services or products.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Add in the EU and it becomes much more difficult to reverse; even if national authorities agree with a proposed EU law, rather than opposing it but being outvoted, once that EU law has come into force they cannot then unilaterally reverse their previous decision without breaking the EU treaties.

  22. behindthefrogs
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    You fail to mention that these regulations potentially replace a plethera of UK regulations. In doing so they actually simplify the UK situation in many cases. The problem is that is that the UK government and financial bodies will insist in treating them as additions and in doing so will further complicate rather than simplifying the situation. They need to get their heads out of the sand.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      And in doing so they also make sure that our national government and Parliament will be stripped of any power to change them if/when they prove to be wrong-headed, unless our national government and Parliament can persuade enough of the other EU governments and parliaments that they need to be changed. So another degradation of our national democracy, then.

      • behindthefrogs
        Posted April 8, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Why should the UK government change regulations produced by the EU which afterall a body which we elect to do the job. Following your argument we should also allow our local councils and parish councils to also change them and why not each individual household.

        I realize that there is an argument about to what extent the EU commission is elected and this should possibly be changed. However while we elect MEPs from parties like UKIP who then take little part in the EU parliament we get wht we deserve.

        We need to recognise that if our representatives help to produce these regulations. If we don’t like the regulations that they produce then we need to elect MEPs that will. I look forward to seeing manifestos from those standing in next month’s elections that show how they intend to vote in the EU parliament. I suspect that I will be disappointed and we will get the publications as from previous years that concentrate on their Westminster ambitions.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 8, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          This is where you are jumping the gun, thinking of our national Parliament as being a subordinate body like a local council. It is not, it is a sovereign body, the supreme legal authority for our country; none of the EU institutions are sovereign bodies, but merely exercise powers delegated to them by the sovereign EU member states through their treaties, and EU law has no force in this country other than that granted by our Parliament through its Acts. However the fact that you and some others have come to assume that we are already legally subordinated within a European federal structure, and actually welcome that, is one good reason why we should leave the EU before that actually comes to pass.

  23. Eric
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Given Mr Redwood’s experience as a Rothschild’s employee, one assumes that financial services is an area in which he has considerable expertise. Would our good host be able to inform his readers about how much of this new regulation stems directly from the EU and how much would have to be transposed into British law regardless, in order to comply with recommendations issued by the Bank for International Settlements in Basel?

    Many thanks.

    Reply I left Rothschilds 25 years ago! Most of it comes from the EU

    • Eric
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      I thought that was the case, but decided to check online before posting. Serves me right for relying on Wikipedia!

      For the sake of clarification, the only reason I mentioned Rothschilds was in deference to your knowledge and experience in the banking industry. I have read generalities about regulation coming from global bodies like the Bank for International Settlements, as well as forums within the UN and WTO, but do not have any real understanding of their prominence or impact on British sovereignty. The EU I understand much better.

      I will assume the “most of it comes from the EU” comment is a direct response to my question. Appreciate the clarification.

      Reply I last worked for Rothschilds in 1989 so that experience is far from fresh or relevant. The modern City is very different. If you wish to see how much regulation comes from the EU look at FCA website.

  24. Bryan
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Clegg (he does not warrant even the title Mr.) in his face to face with Mr Farage, again repeated the mantra that we have a referendum lock should a new Treaty transfer more of our powers to the EU. This is also said as required by Mr Cameron.

    I have read that anything the EU would wish to do to gather more powers they could do within the small print of the Lisbon Treaty. If correct then this ‘lock’ is another big, big lie.

    What have I missed? or misunderstood?

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Bryan,
      “What have I missed? or misunderstood?”
      You accepted what they said in good faith without realising that they are the lowest form of traitorous liars. Unfortunately, they are aided and abetted by those who know well what they are doing but choose to put party loyalty above all else.

    • Chris
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      The promise of the referendum lock seems to be worthless, as Denis Cooper has so carefully exposed on this site (William Hague and 25 March 2011 come to mind).

  25. Posted April 7, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I was in the Financial Services industry for 40 years, retiring in 2012, the last 20 years as an IFA with my own practice.

    Over 13 years, the last government all but destroyed the advice side of the industry for the average person, just as they decimated the pensions sector.

    The regulatory regime governing retail financial advice became so restrictive and dominated by oppressive record keeping and a ludicrous paper trail that is has become impossible to give advice to the average working client at a price they can afford.

    The end result has driven those potential clients towards the banks who nobody will be surprised to hear, generated complaints out of all proportion to the number of transactions they advised on.

    The number of Ombudsman complaints about IFAs was a tiny proportion of the total, yet the end result has been that a huge proportion of us have chosen to retire early rather than take a whole raft of new exam qualifications which were deemed necessary by the FSA for us to carry on performing exactly the same role as we have done for many years.

    The number of practising IFAs is estimated to have reduced by up to 35% over the last five years.

    This is the same FSA, by the way, that allowed the banks to sell millions of PPI policies to unsuspecting customers, a product that most IFAs wouldn’t touch with a bargepole.

    The current Government has continued the poor practice by implementing a mortgage advice regime that means that many mortgage providers now decline to give advice on their products, leaving the customer to chose the product themselves.

    Yet at the same time the standardised mortgage illustrations that the hapless consumer has to rely on, went from a five page document which was clear and easy to understand, to a new one imposed by the FSA of eight to ten pages that is illogical, badly laid out and difficult to fathom.

    The EU could hardly do any worse !

    • stred
      Posted April 8, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      We have nearly completed the sale of a house after 5 months. The buyer was first time with a mortgage agreed the seller had moved out. Bothwere agreed that the house was not new and had old windows and conservatory and a new boiler. The buyers lawyer had asked for details of boiler services and certificates for the windows and conservatory, together with building regulations and planning consent. On the initial form we answered that the windows were to old for certificates and the conservatories did not and still do not need planning and Regs, being exempt.

      They asked again and then this appeared on the contract for exchange, also getting the names wrong and the amount for the furnishings and fixtures.
      This took another three weeks to sort out and being told not to argue with lawyers.

      In the end the buyer’s solicitor insisted that, in order for them to obtain their mortgage, we provide an indemnity certificate for the windows and conservatory as a substitute for FENSA and LA documents. Our lawyer told us these would cost nearly £300- more than his fee for conveyance. We found a much cheaper indemnity on the net and asked for a quote. But this firm answered that, under FSA rules, only solicitors could supply these. We asked our to get a quote but, in the end, agreed with our, harrassed and by now ill, buyer that their lawyer could arrange it and they would pay. The fee will be around £3oo + vat as it is pro rata to sales cost and provided by underwriters.

      These pieces of paper can only confirm that the windows and conservatory never needed certificates and approvals at the time. They are totally useless to seller and buyer, who intends to improve both anyway. We have no idea whether this is EU or Whitehall inspired.

      • stred
        Posted April 8, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Sorry about typos. The 5 months was from agreeing the sale.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Chris S

      Same could be said of electricians and Plumbers (gas fitters)

      Those who have been in the industry for years now cannot work without paying for expensive certificates to satisfy the governments inspectors.

      Thus you will never find a retired plumber or electrician who could do the odd small job for you, because they are banned from doing so.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. 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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