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Thursday, December 08, 2011

30 MPs and Lords back our proposal for "emergency brake" on financial services

In a letter to the Telegraph today 30 MPs and Lords back Open Europe’s recommendations that David Cameron seek, at the very least, a new Single Market protocol or an “emergency brake” on EU financial services laws at this week’s EU summit.

Here it is in full:

SIR – European Union proposals pose a grave threat to Britain’s financial services industry, which employs nearly two million people, accounts for 10 per cent of GDP, and generates over £50 billion in tax receipts annually.

Although there have undoubtedly been regulatory failures in recent years, future policy should primarily be decided by Britain, not the EU.

There are nearly 50 proposals under consideration by the EU. The most troubling include a unilateral, EU-wide financial transactions tax which would inflict enormous damage on Britain’s economic interests, a ban on some short-selling and a European Central Bank proposal that transactions on euro-denominated financial products are only cleared in the eurozone.

From 2014, Britain will have only 12 per cent of the votes in the Council of Ministers and 10 per cent in the European Parliament, yet it accounts for 36 per cent of the EU’s wholesale finance industry and enjoys a 61 per cent share of the EU’s net exports of international transactions in financial services.

It is imperative that the Government fights our corner by arguing either for a new EU protocol or a Britain-specific legal safeguard. Without strong action, the present drift seriously threatens both British jobs and Exchequer revenues.

Andrea Leadsom MP
Chris Heaton-Harris MP
George Eustice MP
Desmond Swayne MP
Sajid Javid MP
Nicholas Soames MP
Ben Gummer MP
Margot James MP
Nadhim Zahawi MP
Harriett Baldwin MP
Karen Bradley MP
James Gray MP
Amber Rudd MP
Anne-Marie Morris MP
Bernard Jenkin MP
Dominic Raab MP
Lord Trimble
Steve Brine MP
Lord Risby
Mike Weatherley MP
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP
Mark Garnier MP
Esther McVey MP
Caroline Dinenage MP
Andrew Bridgen MP
Michael Fallon MP
Matthew Hancock MP
David Ruffley MP
Lord Flight
Viscount Trenchard

London SW1

Significantly, the letter is signed by Cameron and George Osborne's Parliamentary Private Secretaries, Desmond Swayne MP and Sajid Javid MP, potentially a sign that the Government is sympathetic to the idea of UK veto over financial services.

There's a long way to go until close of play on Friday night when the dust will settle for a short while on this week's summit (there will be more like it before too long) but there are some encouraging signs that the Government is starting to get the message.

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