Looming euro-battles could mean massive rows


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A couple of interesting euro-battles are looming on the horizon: the long-expected wrangle over banking regulation and another over the EU Commission's desire to regulate offshore oil and gas extraction.

Financial specialists in the Commons have long been concerned about the move to require that clearing houses which have more than 5% of their turnover in Euros should be located in the euro-zone. This would have a huge impact on the City of London and is viewed by quite modestly euro-sceptic MPs as a quite naked attempt to seize business from Britain.

And Britain may not have the ability to veto it - it could be passed under the EU's Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) procedure. At which point there would be a massive row in Parliament and beyond.

The second issue has had a rather lower profile. Alarmed by the ecological disaster which followed the Deepwater Horizon explosion off the US coast last year, the EU Commission wants to extend its powers over the running of oil and gas rigs in European waters, suggesting a tough EU-run licensing regime is needed to guarantee proper safety standards. The British government retorts that it has been overseeing the safety of North Sea oil and gas for decades, and had done an effective job.

And in the Commons European Scrutiny Committee there is concern that the Commission is seeking to regulate and already well-regulated UK industry.

Under Bill Cash, the committee has regularly flagged up politically significant EU documents for further discussion by MPs, sometimes on the floor of the Commons, and sometimes in special committees.

This proposal will be discussed in committee fairly soon - and more may be heard of it after that.

Mark D'Arcy Article written by Mark D'Arcy Mark D'Arcy Parliamentary correspondent

Week ahead

A certain amount of fag-end legislating, next week, as MPs and peers finish off several bills.

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  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    I fully understand the UK's concerns about intended EU legislation. What I do not understand is why Cameron does not have the guts to start a referendum on membership.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    I hope one of the main parties breaks ranks and offers a national referendum on continued EU membership as part of their manifesto. Then the question could be answered and we can fully commit to whichever direction is chosen.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Brussels regulating oil and gas production? How? They are completely ignorant of these issues, like Merkel and tsunamis, she closed down German nuclear plans through fear of them. They will be wanting to regulate Swiss banks next. Any more of this nonsense and the EU sub should be totally withheld.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    As a "floating"voter,there is now only one answer to this and that it UKIP.
    I have to ask what hidden agenda lies behind the other political parties blank refusal to give us a referendum on our EU membership.
    I have studed the arguments for our membership and none of them really hold water.We would be by far much better off out side this unelected club.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Amended for typos!

    Just emphasises why UK needs an EU referendum so that UK rips off its EU straightjacket and recovers control of issues like:-

    Oil & gas
    FInancial services

    This is 'holding UK back' & why UK going into vicious & deeper recession.



Comments 5 of 13



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