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Margarida Vasconcelos: The City is in great danger

 According to The Financial Times, Olli Rehn, the EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner, has recently said that there is no reason to fear that eurozone member states will impose protectionist regulations on the UK and that there was no reason to believe that a banking union in the eurozone would have “any major conflict of interest with the City of London”. However, this is not true, in fact, several financial regulations have already been adopted, such as a cap on bankers’ bonuses, against the UK interests, and likely to drive businesses out of the City of London. The UK is losing control over financial services and banking in the City of London. The situation will exacerbate when the banking union is up and running. It is important to note that the CityUK fears that the EU banking union, chiefly the creation of a single supervisor, as well as other EU financial regulations proposals will damage the single market and hurt the UK financial sector, which will become less competitive. The City is therefore in great danger.

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"EU 'bullied' Ireland into bailout!"

We argued, in several blog posts, that the European Institutions and Member States bullied Ireland into accepting a EU bailout, this has now been confirmed.

The EUobserver reports today that the EU 'bullied' Ireland into bailout. Phillipe Legrain, former adviser at the Bureau of European Policy Advisers, which provides advice to Jose Manuel Barroso, said "I think the bullying came from Germany because German banks were exposed a lot to Ireland and from the European Commission which aligned itself close to Germany . . . and it came from Jean Claude Trichet who sought to advance the interests of French banks,". Then, he stressed "in effect EU institutions were putting the interests of those banks ahead of those of Irish citizens".

Glen Ruffle: Euro-elections and Euro-truth

As the May 2014 European elections come along, so the scaremongering and wild and inaccurate claims start.

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Bill Cash: the charter binds the Supreme Court without further appeal and has precedence over UK national law and can be used to disapply national legislation
Bill Cash has the following letter in The Telegraph today: Image (1034)
Margarida Vasconcelos:The financial crisis has progressively increased the European Commission powers

The Financial Times reports: “A former adviser to European Commission president José Manuel Barroso has accused the commission of embracing Germany’s austerity-focused response to the eurozone debt crisis in a “strategic” bid to enhance its own powers.” In fact, the sovereign debt crisis has opened the door for further economic and fiscal policy integration.

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Bill Cash: Parliament will simply be asked to rubber stamp the outcome of negotiations that are being held behind closed doors and hidden from the searching gaze of the public and Parliament

The House of Commons debated yesterday the UK’s 2014 justice and home affairs opt-out decision. Bill Cash made the following speech and interventions:

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Margarida Vasconcelos: MEPs voted in favour discharging the EU budget

The European Parliament is the discharge authority. Each year it must close the financial year on the basis of the recommendation of the Council and the Statement of Assurance (DAS) provided by the Court of Auditors. By granting a discharge the European Parliament approves the implementation of the budget in respect of the relevant financial year. Hence, the MEPs declare that a particular EU institution or agency has spent EU taxpayers’ money in line with EU rules that govern the implementation of the EU budget. It is well known that the European Court of Auditors for the 19th year in a row has not given the EU’s accounts a clean bill of health. Yet, the European Parliament has recently given discharge to the Commission for implementation of the EU’s budget for 2012.

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Margarida Vasconcelos: the European Investigation Order set to enter into force

The Council has recently adopted a directive regarding the European Investigation Order (EIO) in criminal matters. The draft directive would create a single instrument for obtaining evidence located in another Member State in the framework of criminal proceedings - the so-called European Investigation Order.

The Government was successful in introducing important changes to the original proposal nevertheless UK authorities will be obliged to provide information about British citizens including bank accounts, as any judicial authority from any EU member state may ask the UK police to gather any criminal evidence. In fact, issuing authorities from other member states would be able to give instructions to the UK police officers. The EIO provides police and prosecution authorities from EU member states with the power to demand UK police forces to gather and share evidence with them within mandatory time limits.

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The European Scrutiny Committee urges the Government to amend the European Communities Act 1972 to exclude the applicability of the Charter in the UK

The European Scrutiny Committee published today its report “The application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in the UK: a state of confusion”. The Report main aim is to clarify the role of the Charter in the UK.

Bill Cash, Chairman of the Committee, said, “The Committee’s inquiry has revealed that the Charter does apply in the UK and will affect how existing fundamental rights are applied here. The inference from the Secretary of State for Justice’s evidence is that he, like me, is not content with this, but it is not clear what the Government is going to do about it. In my view it is essential that Ministers act to make clear beyond any doubt that the Charter will not in future apply in the UK, in particular through an amendment to the European Communities Act 1972.”

The European Scrutiny Committee reached the following conclusions:

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The Government is not offering full parliamentary involvement on the 2014 block opt-out decision

The European Scrutiny and the Home Affairs and Justice Committees have recently published a Joint Report, as both are “deeply disappointed by the Government's position”.

Following publication of the Government's Responses to their Reports on the 2014 block opt-out decision, the Chairs of the Committees sent a joint letter to the Home and Justice Secretaries showing their common concern on “the role of Parliament in scrutinising the Government's approach to the 2014 block opt-out decision” and stressing “the need for an early debate and vote on the measures the Government proposes to rejoin.” However, the Government has decided not to offer an early debate and vote on this major issue.

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Bill Cash has been the Conservative Member of Parliament for Stone since 1997 and an MP since 1984.

He is currently the Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee and the founder member of the European Foundation...

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