By Simon Miller

The City and the UK must play ball for their own interest according to the EU Commissioner for the single market Michel Barnier.

Speaking at the Guildhall in London this morning (23.01.2012), Barnier said to get the debt crisis under control and put Europe back onto recovery, the EU neeed the "strong input of the City" as "one of Europe's key assets on the global stage".

He added: "The EU must not hinder the CIty's energy. But I am sure that it is in the City's interest, and the wider British interest, to play the European game."

Barnier launched a defence of the proposed financial transaction tax (FTT) denying that it was an attack on the City.

"I believe it to be feasible. And above all just. it is right the financial sector - massively bailed out by taxpayers - pays a fair contribution to help us face up to global challenges," he commented.

Despite claiming that the nominal amount of tax would be negligible and there would be no discrimination over where the transaction is carried out, Barnier added: "But at the end of the day, the FTT won't be imposed on the UK against its will."

However, he criticised UK prime minister David Cameron for trying to introduce safeguards to the country's financial services as being neither necessary nor desirable.

"Contrary to what I often read, there is no plot. No plot to undermine the City. No plot to boost Paris or Frankfurt at the City," he continued.

Barnier said that the attempt to introduce unanimity voting [over financial services] would open the door for other countries to demand similar treatment in other sectors such as agriculture in France.

"Opening the door to unanimity on financial services would mean similar demands in other sectors from other member states. And that would spell the end of the single market," he said.

Home     More News

Financial Risks Today Beta Banner

Other stories you may find of interest:

Fencing off the risk?
The Independent Commission on banking has set the cat among the pigeons with the recommendation to ring-fence retail operations. Simon Miller looks at how this came about and what unintended consequences could arise

Impacting on investment
With emerging markets looking for investment, Simon Miller looks at the rise of impact investment and what risks entails in this socially aware vehicle

A very British Complex
Greater complexity leads to greater risks for banks according to Professor Simon Collinson, Warwick Business School and the Simplicity Partnership

This website is a part of Perspective Publishing Limited, registered in England No 2876166.