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Eurozone crisis questions harmonisation

Law firm Osborne Clarke has questioned whether European financial services legislation is right to push for greater harmonisation across member states, given the eurozone crisis.

Head of financial regulation David Blair says European directives such as Mifid II and Solvency II mark a shift towards closer union at the same time that the future of the European Union is in doubt.

Earlier this week, France and Germany called for a new treaty introducing tighter eurozone controls for member states while ratings agency Standard & Poor’s put 15 out of 17 eurozone countries on credit watch over fears that the debt crisis will not be resolved soon.

Blair says: “The fact is the eurozone cannot even manage a currency and yet we are plotting a course towards political union. The question people should be asking is, do we respond to this eurozone crisis by hastening the advent of political union?”

In an interview with Money Marketing’s sister publication Mortgage Strategy this week, MEP Sharon Bowles said ongoing discussions about the European Commission’s mortgage directive “feel like deckchairs on the Titanic”.

Paladin Financial Services managing director Tim Purdon says: “The break-up of the eurozone, if it happens, could lead to a need to strengthen political ties across the EU. However, at some stage, there needs to be a referendum to make clear to the British public the direction we are taking.”

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