Former chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson has called for the UK to leave the European Union and dodge Brussels’ financial services legislation.
Writing in The Times today, Lord Lawson says the EU has served its historic purpose and the economic benefits of leaving would substantially outweigh the costs for the UK.
Prime minister David Cameron has promised an in/out referendum on the EU in 2017 if he is re-elected as prime minister at the next election.
Lord Lawson, who was chancellor from 1983 to 1989, says the UK would directly benefit from not paying £8bn annual membership fees and not having to comply with financial services regulation.
He writes: “After the recent banking meltdown, the EU is currently engaged in a frenzy of regulatory activism, of which the foolish and damaging financial transactions tax, imposed against strong UK opposition, is only one example.
“In part this is motivated by a jealous desire to cut London down to size, in part by well-intentioned ignorance.”
Currently a member of the parliamentary commission on banking standards, Lord Lawson says the Bank of England and Prudential Regulation Authority is becoming “increasingly frustrated” with EU rules.
Last week, PRA executive director Andrew Bailey blasted the “shocking” EU process for Solvency II claiming it has no regard for value for money.