The European commission is the part of the executive branch of the EU. Amongst other things it is responsible for proposing new legislation. There is one commissioner from each EU member state though they do not represent that state; in fact they are specifically charged with representing the EU as a whole. Our appointee is The Baroness Ashton of Upholland. No, I had never heard of her before either but reading her potted biography here, it is clear that she is a career politician.
Anyway, as reported in Tuesday's Daily Telegraph,
The Commission aims to create three “authorities” with their own staff, full-time president and independent budget. If there is a dispute between regulators from EU countries over how to proceed, these EU bodies can “settle the matter” by binding mediation. The European Court would have final jurisdiction. The wording would appear to reduce Britain’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) to a subservient arm of the EU apparatus, limited to “daily oversight”.
So, there you have the European Union in a nutshell. A bunch of people you never elected have taken advantage of the recent banking crisis and are going to take control of our banking, insurance and securities business. If you think I am being paranoid then look at the following comments. From a previous Daily Telegraph article:
"This is exactly what I feared would happen," said Ruth Lea, director of UK think-tank Global Vision. "The EU is taking advantage of the crisis to extend its control over the British financial system. It is very threatening because it is almost impossible to repeal anything in the EU, however damaging it proves to be."
Further on it the same article we read:
Antonio Borges, chair of the Hedge Funds Standards Board, said the blizzard of EU proposals had been hijacked by political forces and were "out of control".
"There is little intellectual foundation to what they are doing," he said. "You would have thought that since 80pc of Europe's hedge funds are in Britain, and are already regulated, that the FSA would have a big say [on hedge fund proposals], but the FSA was marginalised. The reality is that a great deal of regulatory power is going to Brussels."
But don't worry because Alistair Darling has saved us. As quoted in yesterday's Guardian
Darling said: "The thing that concerned us, which we could not live with, was a proposal whereby there might be an agreement reached by regulators at a European level that would have had domestic fiscal consequences for domestic governments. In other words, they might have been able to say to a government 'you've got to do something about a bank', therefore that government would have had to ask its taxpayers to contribute."
Which has resulted in …
a key pledge that any decisions made would not affect the fiscal responsibilities of nation states.
To put it simply, we cannot do anything about EU control over our banks, our insurance companies and our hedge funds but we have managed to stop them indirectly dictating our government spending.
Isn't wonderful being part of the EU?