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Banking Union and Economic and Monetary Union

Part of Free School Meals (Children Over the Age of 16) – in the House of Commons at 5:44 pm on 6th November 2012.

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Photo of James Clappison James Clappison Conservative, Hertsmere 5:44 pm, 6th November 2012

My hon. Friend is right. It is quite extraordinary to have a regulation setting out that they must act in a caucus, even though it is probably likely that they will do so anyway of their own free will; they will certainly see a common interest in it.

This sets a very worrying precedent for the future whereby the eurozone is going in one direction in working together as a political, coherent body, and being required to do so as a matter of law. For the avoidance of any doubt, and particularly for the benefit of Martin Horwood, I will read out the provision that is in black and white—not up in the air somewhere, subject to negotiation—on page 33 of our documents. It requires member states of the eurozone:

“To co-ordinate and express a common position of representatives from competent authorities of the participating Member States when participating in the Board of Supervisors and the Management Board of the European Banking Authority, for issues relating to the tasks conferred on the ECB by this Regulation.”

That is European law, and if they fail to do what it says they will be breaking it—although they may, of course, choose do it anyway of their own free will.

This is a striking illustration of the fact that the eurozone is going in one direction, seeing its political interests as a whole cohering together, while we stand in a quite different position. This provision, and the nature of the relationship that it seeks to put in place between the ECB and the EBA, should give us all a lot of food for thought, because it has major implications for our future in the European Union.