Monday, 13 September 2010

Ministers promise referendums on all EU power grabs & Basel III

Thus reads the page 2 headline in today's DT. The Government will announce plans for a "referendum lock" on any future surrender of powers to the EU. Most interesting was this will be achieved by amending the 1972 European Communities Act. This will be a useful precedent if it happens but I suspect it won't because of LibDem and Tory Europhile opposition in the Commons.

'The amendment, which could be law by next year, will allow for a vote if there is "any transfer of powers away from Britain and towards the centre" according to a Whitehall source' says the DT. I will believe it when I see it!

There is to much wriggle room for the Europhile coaltion in this measure and the interpretation will be of course in the Government's hands. I opine we will only see a referendum called on issues the Government knows will be approved and things the people don't like, eg the Lisbon Treaty, will never be put to the people.

And what about the Tory election promises to repatriate powers from Brussels? Conspicuous by its absence you could say. When push comes to shove transfer of any contentious power will be deemed not to be a transfer but something else, eg a clarification, which would obviate the need for a referendum.

Meanwhile over in Basel the banking regulators are more than doubling bank capital requirements to save us from another banking crisis. I cannot think MAK and his ilk really believe this. Its for press headlines only. The bottom line is its how a bank manages its risk that matters. A poorly managed bank will still fail no matter how much capital it has. To put it simply if a bank makes bad loans to dodgy people, companies or countries it will get into trouble and fail. I do not know any regulatory regime that can protect depositors from incompetent or corrupt bank management.

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