The more extreme elements of the Eurosceptic press are worried about whether the new European Agencies for financial supervision take away control of the City of London from the UK and hand it to Brussels. They are right to be on their guard but not necessarily about this particular agreement.
The first European Parliament votes on the "Supervisory Architecture" package were back on May 10th, just as the new Coalition government was being formed. The previous Westminster government had already signed up to an agreement with other National governments to establish the Agencies – but the European Parliament seemed intent on giving them yet more powers.
So on the eve of poll and UK election day itself, my colleagues and I were multi-tasking – helping to get-out-the-vote in the marginal seats, whilst poring over the detail of the draft legislation to demand of various parts of the proposal. Back in May the Conservative Party promised voters that we would defend the voice of the UK in Europe. We have not broken that promise – we have been a thorn in the side of the European Parliament on this issue.
After months of negotiation, we have finally found a solution that I believe can strengthen both the UK’s domestic role in supervising cross border financial markets and protect the UK taxpayer from cross border risks without handing over significant powers to Brussels. This is why I will vote for the package next week. But it is only the first battle – more will come.