Official Listing of Securities, Prospectus and Transparency (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:45 pm on 18th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Davies of Stamford Lord Davies of Stamford Labour 8:45 pm, 18th February 2019

The Minister’s description of the position is not at all what I understood. As I understood it from my noble friend Lord Tunnicliffe—who spotted this, to his great credit—at present the prospectus directive provides that certain state bodies within the EEA do not have to produce a prospectus. So the Government of France do not have to produce a prospectus if they go to the markets and seek more money. That is a reasonable situation. Far from not changing the substance when they switch from an EU directive to an SI affecting only this country, it appears that the Government have made a significant change in the wording. It no longer says “any EEA sovereign body”—or words to that effect—but “any sovereign body anywhere in the world”. So, as the noble Baroness, Lady Kramer, pointed out, you would have a situation where the Government of Venezuela—if there is one—or of Eritrea, or wherever, could issue a prospectus in London. I cannot believe that that would really happen, but if it did it would be an invitation for the most appalling financial crisis. People would lose all faith in the whole system and the credibility of the prospectus arrangements that we have here.