Senior Tory presses for UK final say on Euro regulation

Conservative MP Peter Lilley is urging European commissioner for internal markets and services Michel Barnier to give the UK the final say on EU financial services regulation and directives.

Lilley, chair of the joint committee on the draft Financial Services Bill, met with Barnier (pictured) this week to press for the UK to get the deciding vote. Currently, European regulations are passed with a qualified majority vote across member states.

Lilley says: “Given that the overwhelming bulk of financial services Europe-wide is focused in London, it is right that we try and get an understanding from Europe that regulations affecting financial services cannot be made unless we consent. It is silly to hand over regulation to people who have limited experience and less knowledge about how the industry operates, therefore the final voice should be the UK’s.”

The Financial Services Bill, published last week, backs the joint committee’s call for a committee made up of the FCA, the PRA and the Bank of England to co-ordinate UK lobbying efforts in Europe and internationally.

Cicero Consulting Brussels analyst Tim Gieles says if the UK wants more influence on European financial services legislation it should look to build alliances with countries that have a similar financial services market, such as the Netherlands.