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European Financial Services Proposals

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 5:32 pm on 1st December 2009.

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Photo of Mark Todd Mark Todd Labour, South Derbyshire 5:32 pm, 1st December 2009

Probably, but I might be even more absolutist, in that I cannot conceive of an "emergency" in which passing the task to a European agency would genuinely add value in dealing with a crisis. The task is to act with urgency in many of these circumstances, and to consult as fast as we reasonably can with others.

We all recognise that the financial services sector crosses borders, and entertaining one-liners have been thrown into the debate about financial services businesses being global in life but national in death. That is obviously true but, in practical terms, it is individual nation states that must make the rapid responses.

For all those reasons, I hope that the Government will act with firmness and a clearer philosophical determination about what is in the best interests not only of our financial services sector, important as it is, but of our taxpayers and our nation as a whole. We have conceded some ground already and, although I have doubts about how far we should have gone, I accept what has been done. We should now make sure that any regulatory framework that emerges from this process clearly adds value to the sector. In addition, it must not intrude on the nation state's role in the regulatory operation of the financial services sector, or on a Government's fiscal responsibility to secure the successful rescue of any business.

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