Author: by Stephen Hill
I hope those old World War Two air-raid-warning machines, with their chilling, swirling, ghostly sounds of imminent attack, have all been freshly greased up to warn those in the City that they are next in the firing line to be destroyed by our membership of the ludicrously bureaucratic, anti-democratic and now anti-free-trade EU.
It’s wake-up-get-out-of-bed time for all concerned in the Square Mile – now, now, now – not in Cameron’s ludicrous referendum in 2017.
The usual quislings are at work: CityUK, a bank lobbyist, claimed 84 per cent of banking bosses want the EU, no doubt as they seek bureaucratic endorsement for their bulge-bracket cartels, even as the attacks begin.
There are only three warning voices in the UK, however, namely: Nigel, Boris and the 1922 Committee – and nothing from anyone in the City itself, too busy assessing risk in everything they do to notice the biggest risk of all – that the bureaucratic EU has the City’s pre-eminence in its ideological cross-hairs.
The EU’s EBU, the so-called European Banking Union, is just a wooden horse for Monsieur Michel Barnier’s bureaucrats to create their vision of a flat-earth financial landscape, but under their control. And their main target is the City.
The first wave of attacks on the City came in like this. First there was a clampdown on bonuses, which caused an obvious reaction the bureaucrats carelessly hadn’t thought about: basic salaries were raised to counter the loss of earnings, thereby achieving the exact opposite of the previous model’s flexibility, namely that the fixed cost base of banks went up, not down.
Then, in the past month waves two and three came in: an EU diktat banning short-selling, aimed at the preponderance of hedge funds in London. The great advantage to the wider City is that short-selling exposes market inefficiencies, as in the over-valued pre-crash bank shares for example.
And now the ECJ – the European Court of Justice, an organisation that has nothing whatsoever to do with justice but is just another rubber stamp for the bureaucrats in Brussels – has thrown out the UK’s opt-out from the FTT, the Financial Transaction Tax (Tobin Tax).
The ECJ – read bureaucrats – is not upholding the single market but subverting it. These markets are huge – $668 trillion for global derivatives alone. The UK is no longer operating in a common market but in a rigged market, rigged against its best interests. The protection of the much vaunted veto against a major national interest like the City has been quietly de-materialised and thrown away as regards the UK’s financial sector.
The next target will probably be the LCH clearing system, as all euro-payment settlements will soon have to be executed inside euroland. And then the constant chipping away at the City’s pre-eminence will become a weekly encroachment by the EU’s bureaucratic cockroaches.
Take the example my own company finds itself in: Anglo-Sino Capital (anglosinocapital.com). Anglo-Sino finances early stage UK technologies, and there aren’t many people doing that in the UK. Under UK regulation, Anglo-Sino was regulated as a fund manager for unquoted companies, then last year EU regulation was just dumped on top of UK regulation with no forethought, but the two systems are not in alignment. EU regulation is all about quoted markets, not unquoted.
Anglo-Sino cannot now do what it does, but must apply for MiFiD Exempt 1 status and be an investment adviser to a regulated investment manager of quoted stocks, which will have no knowledge whatsoever of unquoted investments! In the meantime the business is not financing anything.
And don’t forget the single market is formally a customs union, which is de facto all about manufactured goods. So it is the EU’s EBU itself which is the vehicle being deployed to flatten the City. Forget Cameron’s 2017 Referendum, as under Lisbon 50-53 that can’t get us out until 2020, by which time the City will have been well and truly castrated.
Everyone of any sense must vote UKIP in these Euro-elections, and turn it into a referendum on Cameron himself and the Tories who got us into this Euro-mess, and against Labour and Lib Dem clowns who still think the EU is our future. Vote Nigel on 22 May, or pay the price!