In a humiliating vote in Brussels yesterday, Chancellor George Osborne was out voted 26-1 on EU regulation of banker bonuses.
Whatever you think of the City of London or bankers, please do put that to one side for a minute. The City contributes well over £60bn in tax revenues and countless more in associated jobs and industry. They have their faults, but the EU is using the economic crisis to scale down the City of London in order to strike a blow against ‘anglo-saxon capitalism’ but also to strengthen the EU’s hold on the UK.
The unelected cabal of commissioners should not be deciding banker pay. If anyone, it should be an elected government that has a mandate to do so from the British people. You should decide what happens, not the EU.
But the point is that David Cameron’s government has dug its own grave on the City. The Lisbon Treaty gave the EU the right to interfere in financial services. The European Banking Authority, which will have the power to determine banker bonuses, was set up on Cameron’s watch.
For the government to complain now is either a display of breath-taking ignorance of EU actions or a demonstration of habitual duplicity that has resulted in a complete distrust of the political class.
Either way, Cameron and Co. could have prevented this assault on the City of London. If they had stayed true to their word and given us a vote on the Lisbon Treaty, they wouldn’t be in this mess.