Treasury minister hits out at EU financial services regulation

Treasury economic secretary Harriet Baldwin has warned the EU’s attitude to regulation of financial services must change if the UK is to remain within the union.

Speaking at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, Baldwin said the UK still has to fight to ensure its independence within the EU, not least because the default expectation of other members is for further integration.

She said: “So much of the regulation that comes from the EU assumes that every country is going to one day adopt the single currency and I think we have got to get away from that.”

She added: “Given that the impetus of European countries in the Eurozone itself is likely to be one towards much closer fiscal union, it is vital to make sure the UK , which has this particular predominance in financial services in the EU, has the powers that it needs to ensure that the right balance is struck.”

CityUK chief executive Chris Cummings said a survey of the lobbying body’s members recently found 86 per cent supported remaining within a reformed EU.

He said: “What foreign direct investors tell me time and again is that we are of interest because we are a gateway to Europe.

“So there are reasons to stay in a reformed EU, but it is down to the Prime Minister to come up with the package.”