Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Hannan: envy, anti-capitalism and anti-Britishness

From Daniel Hannan:

The most interesting headline this morning was in European Voice: “EU seeks more power over national finances”. Understandably, perhaps, the London newspapers paid little attention to yesterday’s summit of EU finance ministers, at which the Chancellor congratulated himself for reducing the UK’s liability in the event of another bail-out to “only” eight billion pounds. But they won’t be able to ignore Brusels for much longer.

Eurocrats see fiscal federalism as the logical response to the collapse of Greece. They want a larger budget, EU “own resources”, tax harmonisation, financial supervision.

The first test of the new British government will come at the Brussels summit next month with the vote on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive – deferred as a pre-election favour to Gordon Brown. The proposed law will have a disproportionate and deleterious impact on London, where most of the equity in the EU is managed. It is not a solution to any identified problem, hedge funds having played no part in the credit crunch; it is the product, rather, of an unedifying mixture of envy, anti-capitalism and anti-Britishness.

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