Now that the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has exercised the UK’s veto against further European Union treaty changes designed to increase fiscal integration, the EU’s response is to plot its revenge.
The Daily Express reports that Olli Rehn, the European economics commissioner, has said that the EU can still place further regulatory burdens on the City of London.
“If this move was intended to prevent bankers and financial corporations in the City from being regulated, that is not going to happen. We must all draw lessons from the financial crisis and that goes for the financial sector as well.” Said Mr Rehn. He also said that moves at getting round the UK veto would be “bold, effective and legally viable”.
The Express points to fears by business chiefs and finance experts that more EU sponsored regulation could cost half a million jobs and have an adverse impact on such things as peoples’ pension funds.
The problem for the UK is if it leaves the EU the position of the City in the world of finance could be hit hard as the remaining EU countries attempt to shut us off from trading certain financial instruments to bolster their own financial sector (something the Eurozone is trying to do anyway). If the UK stays in the EU as the ‘one’ in the 26+1, the other members may well keep chipping away at the UK trying to weaken its position leading to protracted fights through the EU courts. If the UK signs up to a more integrated union then we are on a truly slippery slope, which will lead to a much emasculated country with once again a loss of influence for The City.
And all this to prop up a failed Eurozone political project. The EU is attempting to punish the UK for not supporting failure.
But worse the EU and its unelected officials feel very comfortable that they are now in a position to dictate terms with threats to the member states.
The UK truly is at a crossroads.