I would go further and say that the Council’s legal adviser knows exactly what the position is, as do the whole European Union and our own Government. The opinion is out there; I have read it and it is crystal clear. The reality is that there is absolutely no question about it.
I have great sympathy for the Minister and pay tribute to him. I will not go into the details, but it was because of him that we got the documents in the first place. He is a man of great integrity, and I think that he is in a very difficult position tonight, stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have to say that I do not believe that what he has told us really gives us the necessary guarantees and satisfaction. This is not about what we think, or about grandstanding or being difficult for its own sake; as he said at the beginning, this is in many respects—I would not say entirely—on a par with the matters on which we rebelled last week. We do not want to have to do this, but it is a matter of fact that we face this situation.
I have another commentary from City analysts stating that the concern is that the UK could
“still lose the ability to prevent a decision from being taken by the EBA to intervene in a UK bank directly under the EBA’s binding mediation powers.”
They make a similar point about the need for amendments to the treaties. The truth is that it would not be right for Members of Parliament not to register their votes against these proposals in the hope—like Mr Micawber—that something would turn up, because I am afraid that what this amounts to is complicity by our own House and our Government in the violation by the EU of its own laws and the avoiding of amending the treaties for reasons of mere expediency. Even if the EU does come up with something, I believe that it will be merely a fix to avoid revealing its real intentions and, of course, the real results, which will cause so much harm to the UK and the City of London. I blame the Labour party for much of this, as I warned of it several years ago.
The so-called remorseless logic of advocating a banking union is more of a remorseless shift away from our own national interests while the banking union moves the eurozone into an ever deeper and blacker hole with money, either invented or printed, pouring into it. That is a recipe for economic disaster.