European risks

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It is clearly disappointing to note that, according to a recent report from a House of Lords EU sub-committee, the UK’s financial services sector is suffering due to the UK’s “diminishing influence” in the EU.

While peers state that political interference from Brussels is driving an ill-thought-out and inconsistent system of red tape, the debate about Britain’s future in the EU and a growing “antipathy” towards Brussels means that UK authorities are losing their ability to combat what they see as damaging legislation.

A series of new regulations from Brussels since the financial crisis, most notably a cap on bankers’ bonuses, have angered many in the City, who argue that it harms London’s position as a global financial hub.

Indeed, some 40 pieces of financial legislation have been introduced or proposed since the 2008 financial crisis. However, the UK’s ability to have an influence over this legislation has been greatly diminished.

And while the proposed capital markets union, for example, presents a golden opportunity for the UK, its role in shaping it is being marginalised due to a weakening influence in 
Brussels.

This means that Scotland’s financial services sector is currently losing out and will continue to do so.

This greatly reduced influence is highly apparent and that is even before the referendum campaign on the UK’s relationship with the EU has begun.

With the Scottish economy so reliant on the financial services sector it is clearly disappointing that we are and will continue to be impacted by being part of a UK whose ability to influence key decisions in this area is so weak.

At an EU level it is not how hard you bang your fist on the table and throw your weight around that counts, but your ability to step up to the mark and be a team player.

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace

Edinburgh

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