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European Financial Services Proposals

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 6:37 pm on 1st December 2009.

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Photo of Sarah McCarthy-Fry Sarah McCarthy-Fry Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury 6:37 pm, 1st December 2009

That is the same question that we have heard all evening. We are going into the negotiations tomorrow to deliver the best outcome for the UK, and for the UK within the EU.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory and the hon. Member for Taunton asked about the appointment process. The FSA will have the UK seat on the ESA. The appointments of the secretary-general and the staffing secretariat will follow normal EU appointments procedure under the staffing regulations. The chairs of ESAs are voted for by the ESAs themselves from within their memberships. As with members of the European Commission, the appointment will be subject to confirmation by the European Parliament.

The hon. Member for Taunton asked about information sharing and confidentiality. The information-sharing provisions in the legislation are subject to strict confidentiality requirements. That has been standard practice since the establishment of the single market.

Mr. Fallon asked about representation from the non-eurozone on the ESRB. Of course we want representation from the non-eurozone. During the ECOFIN discussions in October, the Chancellor stressed the need to ensure an appropriate balance of eurozone and non-eurozone members. We are confident that that position will be reflected in the Council's discussions with the European Parliament and, as I said, any agreed wording will then be binding.

We strongly support moves to improve the quality and consistency of supervision to ensure more effective rule making and enforcement, and better to identify risks. We want to be part of an EU playing a greater leadership role in setting global standards and avoiding regulatory arbitrage. However, we need to ensure that day-to-day supervision and crisis management arrangements remain national. I value the contributions that hon. Members have made to the debate, and I am sure that the Chancellor will take note of them in his discussions at ECOFIN tomorrow. I think we all agree on the importance of maintaining our position that this framework must not impinge on member states' fiscal responsibilities, and that there should be no powers to undermine national supervision.

Question put.

The House proceeded to a Division.

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