Chris Cummings, Chief Executive, TheCityUK, said,
Reform of the European Union is critical and we support the Prime Minister’s efforts to negotiate change. Today’s speech, and the letter to Commissioner Tusk, is a concrete step forward in delivering changes which will ensure the EU of the future is fit for purpose.
Of the key principles set out by the Prime Minister, we believe ensuring non-discrimination between Euro and non-Euro states, and hardwiring competitiveness into the DNA of the future of the European Union, are the most important. Both of these principles underpin the reform proposals TheCityUK published earlier this year, which reflect the views of our members across UK financial and related professional services.
Ensuring non-discrimination between all EU Member States is not about special treatment for the UK, or the City of London. It is about recognising that London is Europe’s financial centre and its beating heart. It is critical therefore to ensure its position outside the Eurozone does not impact its ability to support the creation of jobs and economic growth across the continent. “Safeguarding the integrity of the Single Market and making sure that this principle is enshrined in all existing and new EU legislation is critical in order for the industry to best support the EU’s ambition of jobs and growth.
As part of the non-discrimination principle, it is particularly pleasing to see the Prime Minister calling for recognition that the EU is a union with more than one currency. This is fundamental to the UK’s continued successful membership of the EU.
We applaud the Prime Minister’s reaffirmation that competitiveness needs to be at the heart of the EU reform programme. This is one of the driving principles of TheCityUK’s own EU reform proposals. The financial and related professional services industry wants to see practical change that will foster economic growth, facilitate the creation of high-value jobs, boost trade and investment, and maintain the continent’s competitiveness on the global stage.
The Prime Minister has set out his blueprint for reform. This reform must be led by the head, not the heart. Business has a major role in presenting facts and evidence to help the voting public reach an informed conclusion when they cast their ballot.