| LONDON, June 25
LONDON, June 25 Britain said on Wednesday it
would push the European Union to improve the way it sets
financial rules, promising to protect London's role as a global
financial sector and demanding better assessments of the impact
of new regulations.
Nicky Morgan, newly-appointed minister in charge of
financial services, said she would lead a major drive to improve
the EU's legislative process and pledged to keep on challenging
rules that Britain disagreed with.
With Britain facing defeat later this week in its battle to
stop Jean-Claude Juncker become the next president of the
European Commission, Morgan struck a combative tone in her first
major speech to London's financial community.
"I will be very prepared, when called upon to fight your
corner," she said. "Where that involves, how shall I put this, a
reasoned argument with our European counterparts I'm prepared to
Britain, which is seeking to protect London's role as a
financial centre and stop the EU centralising financial
services, has lodged a string of challenges with the European
Court of Justice over EU regulations.
The country has a fraught relationship with the EU under
Prime Minister David Cameron, typified by his opposition to
Juncker, who is perceived to want a more united Europe.
Morgan signalled that Britain would not hesitate to
challenge EU rules in the European Court of Justice in future.
"Where we think that EU legislation is at odds with the
treaties, we have challenged it in the courts," Morgan said.
Britain, whose financial services sector generates 8 percent
of all its economic output, has suffered high-profile defeats in
the top EU court on regulatory issues such as a financial
transactions tax and a law banning short-selling trades.
Two other challenges, to rules on bonuses and against a
European Central Bank demand that specific financial services
must be located inside the euro zone, are ongoing.
But on Wednesday Morgan pledged that Britain would keep
asking "awkward questions" and said that she would be pushing
the EU to improve its lawmaking process, reflecting concerns
expressed by London's banking industry.
"If we want a more effective EU we have to lead a major
drive to improve the process of legislation," Morgan told senior
bankers at the event run by financial industry group TheCityUK.
"You have made very clear how important this is to you, so I
will be very loud in pushing for that to happen."
(Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)