Rogue Parliament

by Andrew Stuttaford

Those behind the EU’s continuing assault on ‘Anglo-Saxon’ finance are no longer really bothering to conceal that the motive for their attack is anything other than malice and envy.

The Daily Telegraph reports:

MEPs on the European Economic Affairs Committee have agreed to legislate to impose the banker bonus cap onto fund managers – but without the flexibility for shareholders to grant higher awards. The move was met with dismay in Britain which is home to Europe’s biggest fund management industry. Irving Henry from the Investment Management Association told The Daily Telegraph: “It’s wrong to apply rules that were intended to stop risk taking at the banks to fund managers who don’t take those types of risks.”

 Jon Terry, partner in PwC’s reward team, said fund managers “are now facing the toughest pay rules across the whole of the financial services sector.”

Stephen Booth of Open Europe said: “Given how crucial the fund manager industry is to the UK’s financial services, if this does go through it could turn the City of London into a hotbed of euroscepticism and make it far more difficult for the UK government to defend EU membership.”

The Committee agreed that those who manage any retail funds, and so regulated under the so-called UCITs rules [under taking for collective investment in transferable securities] s should have bonuses be capped at one times salary. Half of any bonus should be paid in shares or units of the company they work for.

The one bonus, so to speak, is that this move ought as, Open Europe notes, a give a helpful fillip to euroskepticism in the City, which has been far too complacent about the danger that the EU—now rapidly metastasizing in the way that euroskeptics have long predicted—represents to free markets, freedom of contract, freedom of employment and, indeed, the whole idea of the open society.

David Cameron, of course, has been too busy this week making arrangements to muzzle speech in the UK to do anything about this latest threat to a key British industry and, for that matter, some very basic freedoms, so let me explain something: There needs to be an in/out referendum. And it needs to be soon. It’s not difficult to work that out, David. So get on with it.

Or make way for someone who can do the job.

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