Two questions in the House on an EU referendum and responsibility in banking


Today, I had two questions during statements. I welcomed the progress the Prime Minister is making towards a referendum on our relationship with the EU and asked him to remind us who denied the public a say on the Lisbon Treaty – Labour. I then asked the Chancellor to look again at my Financial Institutions (Reform) Bill, which would transfer commercial risk into the banks, ending the incentives which create a culture of recklessness and rule-breaking.

Questions are useful, but there’s no room for nuance or developing a point. We need peace, free trade, the rule of law and fundamental liberties in Europe, but not bland homegeneity and stifling bureaucracy. That’s why I support the Initiative for a Free and Prospering Europe: we must not return to economic nationalism.

As for the banks, an unethical culture of undue risk taking and perversion of the rules will persist all the while vast returns are privatised and commercial risks are socialised. Until the risks are private too, moral hazard will ensure a reckless culture endures, at least in some quarters.

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