It was pretty obvious, well before last weeks EU summit that the EU had decided to target the City of London. For all the economic might of France and Germany they have nothing like the City in London. They may have bigger economies, manufacturing sectors and populations but they haven’t been able to attract the banks and institutions, which operate in the investment sector in England.
The rhetoric coming from Angela and Nicholas has featured negativity towards the banking sector with a lack of regulation being cited more often than not as a major contributor to the credit crunch and the resulting recession. Most people would tend to agree with that to a degree and the banks are ready with their arguments. Regulate more and they’ll move elsewhere. We’ve heard it before and some have even carried it out.
Call me Dave was hemmed in by Angela and Nicholas. If he didn’t agree to their demands for potential changes to the EU Treaty then he would be left out. Call me Dave couldn’t agree to the changes because the two-pronged attack on the city endangered the UKs economy. Increased regulation and “a plague on all your houses” in the form of a tax on all your transactions.
The City firms aren’t going to like this whether it’s a good idea for the rest of us or not. What is certain however is that the EU want and need the money the transaction tax would bring in desperately. The money would be used to add further support to the EU zone and the countries within it who have some slight local difficulties at the moment.
So a much larger entity (the EU) is going to try to steal the assets of a smaller (the UK) entity and squander the money it will receive on an experiment, which is doomed to failure. Does that sound familiar? Has there been a similar type of occurrence, perhaps nearer to home? You know there has. North Sea Oil
The benefits of North Sea Oil were removed by a larger entity (England and Westminster) from a smaller entity (the Scottish nation). Now, this is not being anti-English, far from it actually. It would be wrong to suggest that the financial benefits from North Sea Oil should all have gone to Scotland. What was and still is wrong is that the financial benefit of North Sea Oil should have included a realisation that Scotland should have benefited more because the oil was in Scottish Territorial waters. For example Texas and Alaska and some of the other States in the USA hold onto the majority of the revenues raises through taxation on the oil extraction within their borders. Texas in particular has created a massive $9 Billion dollar rainy day fund from the monies it has collected.
North Sea Oil has been used to support monetarism and the re-design of the UK, but mainly English, economy from manufacturing to services. By England I mean Westminster and the politicians who ply their trade there. Westminster has ensured that oil revenues have ended up where they belong, in the UK Treasury.
It’s pretty ironic that the EU is now acting in the same way. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if their longer term aim was to encourage the city firms to move to Germany. It doesn’t matter where these firms are located, all they need is the right communications links and they are good to go. Their staff would move. Language is irrelevant.
What then for the UK economy?
Let’s say the game plan for the City firms moving is five years. Lets say it would take the same time for Scotland to gain full independence and control over oil revenues. What effect would that have on the English economy?
I don’t want to see the City being destroyed, or at least being destroyed whilst it’s still a significant element of the English economy. How many years would it take to replace?
England is a fabulous country. It’s culture and it’s people have been crucial to the world as a whole for hundreds of years. On two separate occasions in the 20th century alone they stood against ferocious enemies. Twice they came to the aid of Europe and of France in particular. Most of the Eurozone countries would be far better served by following the UKs example of not agreeing further involvement. They could even go a step further and get out whilst there is still time.
Hands off the City of London! That may have been said before.