Company bosses have hit out at Prime Minister David Cameron over the Government’s failure to protect the UK financial services sector from increasing red tape from the European Union.
In a letter to The Sunday Times, a group of 54 businessmen including Tory donors and former ministers say they are “extremely concerned” about measures coming from the EU such as the financial transaction tax and more stringent regulation.
The businessmen, who collectively employ one million people, argue such measures “will continue to erode Britain’s competitiveness” in the financial services sector “which has unique global standing” and earns the UK £45bn a year.
They say: “We are extremely concerned about Britain’s current difficulties in preventing the introduction by the European Union of measures such as the financial transaction tax.” They also raise concerns about other measures such as regulations on fund managers, Europe-wide bonus caps, bans on short selling by traders and restrictions on where transactions in euros can take place.
They conclude by demanding that the City be “fundamentally regulated and controlled by the British people, through our elected representatives in parliament, rather than by the European Union”.
Those who have signed the letter include former Tory ministers Lord Lamont and Lord Flight, Tory donors Jon Moulton and Peter Cruddas, Numis Securities chief executive Oliver Hemsley and fund manager Tim Guinness.
It comes as Jean-Claude Juncker looks set to become European Commission president, despite Cameron pushing to stop him getting the role.