The EU and its attack on Britain’s
most successful industry
The City of London Under Threat
Professor Tim Congdon
Bruges Group research shows that the EU’s
financial regulations are set to destroy thousands of well-paid jobs in the
City of London. The EU now threatens the long term prosperity of the City of
London and, by extension, the London and UK economies.
Britain to remain a well-paid, successful and influential nation in the 21st
Century world economy? We should be concentrating on such activities as
financial services, marketing, design, advertising, legal work, accountancy,
publishing, journalism, business information, the arts and the various forms
of management consultancy. We should also want the UK to be the headquarters
for companies with production facilities across the globe.
Yet threats are emerging to Britain’s long-term prosperity. In September the
European Commission submitted new and sweeping proposals for a European
Systemic Risk Board. This is to include the so-called “European Banking
Authority”, which is to have far-reaching powers. In the current proposals
they include the authority to close down a particular bank or insurance
company, regardless of the views of the UK’s own regulators.
The proposed Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers, which in
practice means managers of hedge funds and private equity funds, is
interventionist and prescriptive. Not only will it cramp the operations of
alternative investment managers who have long records of good performance, but
also it will cause the relocation of well-paid and talented professionals to
centres outside the EU.
Britain’s exports of international financial services grew by 15% a year for
over 15 years, a really serious growth industry in which the UK is a world
leader. The EU will ruin this.
How many people will be affected? Total employment in international
financial services in London is approaching ˝ million people. There may be
about 250,000 in the Square Mile itself. Around 20% – 25% of those will be
affected by the EU’s plans with the potential loss of tens of thousands of
well-paid jobs. These jobs – like those in manufacturing – will be forced out
of the UK; losing Britain many talented professionals. Almost certainly the
financial services industry will go to Asia.
We must do everything we can to put pressure on our politicians to hold a
referendum on the Lisbon Treaty after the forthcoming general
Founder President: The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of
Kesteven, LG, OM, FRS President: The Rt Hon. the Lord Tebbit of Chingford, CH,
PC Vice-President: The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg Director: Robert Oulds MA, Head of
Research: Dr Helen Szamuely, Washington D.C.
Representative: John O'Sullivan CBE Founder Chairman: Lord Harris of High Cross,
Former Chairmen: Dr Brian Hindley, Dr Martin Holmes &
Professor Kenneth Minogue