Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Monetary union is like having a bank account with the neighbours, and now the neighbours who have put the money in are panicking about the other neighbours who are taking the money out. We see in these documents that EMU is going to progress with much tighter fiscal and banking controls. Is the Minister going to want to keep all British banks out of the extra controls, as we would then no longer be in charge of them, or does he think that the euro activities of our banks must be part of this new centralised scheme from Brussels?
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Greg Clark): We have been very clear, and the single supervisory mechanism is a good example, as I have said. We have our arrangements for the supervision of our banks, which are centred around the Bank of England, and it is absolutely right that they should continue in that way, but as each of these proposals is made, we will need to look to our national interest and make sure that our rights are protected.
Mr Redwood: Do the Opposition think that a bank headquartered in London, with its group corporate structure in London and with international operations, should be regulated by the Bank of England to our standards or fully integrated into euro area regulation?
The Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Chris Leslie): I think that any financial institution that could have a systemic impact on our economy and UK financial services needs to be regulated from within the Bank of England and by our regulatory structures. I hope that there will be a match between our arrangements and the European arrangements. That has been part of my anxiety about the Government’s design of the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority in the context of the Bank of England and how they fit together with the supervisory structures in Europe. We have had that debate and I think it will continue to be played out over the longer term.
Mr Redwood: I thank my hon. Friend for highlighting this crucial issue and bringing it to the attention of the House. Will he accept that those of us who will not have time to speak today are fully behind him in wanting to re-establish and re-assert the primacy of this House in all matters that are important to the British people, and we have a long way to go to do that?
Mr William Cash (Stone) (Con): We have a long way to go, and in fact the journey is becoming longer. I am extremely glad that we are having a proposal for a referendum Bill, which will enable us to decide these questions, if it comes off. I also believe that there is an understanding among possibly 240 Government Members that there is a serious problem in relation to the EU. There are some who take a different view, but it is a tangential question for them. For us it is fundamental. The biggest demonstration of the problem is this fundamental relationship, which turns on primacy. That is what the Scrutiny Committee focused on, and that is what I will speak about, somewhat briefly.