Funny that these incompetents didn't see this coming, isn't it? What did they expect?
UK "storms out" out of negotiations over new EU financial regulator;
Sarkozy: For the first time a French Commissioner is in charge of the City of London
EU Finance Ministers will today discuss the formation of a new EU-wide system of financial supervision, including the creation of three new EU authorities with the mandate to overrule national regulators on issues such as shortselling and the recapitalisation of banks. The authorities would also have the power to supervise and intervene in individual firms - moves which the UK is said to resist.
The UK stalled negotiations in October on the three new authorities as Alistair Darling wanted the EU to clarify exactly what powers the new authorities would have if a member state failed to implement decisions taken by the bodies. The UK also wanted all decisions taken by unanimity, Euractiv reports. However, the site reports that EU diplomats believe that Britain is isolated and that the remaining 26 member states will give the new authorities their full support. "Mainly ministers will be asking what kind of majorities will be needed in the new supervisory bodies," one EU diplomat is quoted saying.
Comments made yesterday by Nicolas Sarkozy have added to fears that the proposed architecture, in combination with the appointment of French protectionist Michel Barnier as the next Internal Market Commissioner, will damage the City of London. Sarkozy said yesterday: "Do you know what it means for me to see for the first time in 50 years a French European commissioner in charge of the internal market, including financial services, including the City [of London]? I want the world to see the victory of the European model, which has nothing to do with the excesses of financial capitalism".
Dutch daily NRC reports that "the British are so angry about Sarkozy's triumphalism that they are blocking negotiations on EU banking supervision...The atmosphere has been so poisoned that the British, who think that supervision damages their City, have stormed out of the negotiations, according to an eye witness".
Writing in the Times, Alistair Darling argues, "We must resist measures, however superficially alluring, that could undermine the effective functioning of our cherished single market. National supervisors, such as the FSA, must remain responsible for supervising individual companies. Making companies directly accountable to more than one authority is a recipe for confusion."
In a debate in the House of Commons last night, Shadow Treasury Minister Mark Hoban criticised the Government for not being more active in the formulation and scrutiny of the new proposals. He said: "I'm not optimistic of the Government's chances in insisting on its red lines because I think the Government has repeatedly left debating these matters until too late in the process."