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eu statement on the 25th anniversary of the single market March 20, 2018

Posted by Bradley in : brexit , add a comment

A joint statement from Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and Boyko Borissov, holder of the rotating Council Presidency and Prime Minister of Bulgaria with the title, One Market- One Europe highlights a positive view of what the UK is seeking to leave behind (as it moves from being an internal (but perhaps not completely reliable) source of strength for the EU to being an external source of potential risk):

Over the past 25 years, the integration of our economies throughout the Single Market has generated millions of jobs, and made the EU the world’s largest economy. The Single Market is the jewel in the crown of our integration and this domestic market of 500 million people is the foundation for Europe’s strength, at home and abroad.
The Single Market provides Europe’s citizens with the freedoms and opportunities that were only a dream for our parents and grandparents, and our social market economy benefits us all. There are no second-class Europeans in our Single Market and so there is no room for second-class products or for second-class workers; meaning, the same pay for the same work in the same place, the same quality of food and the same safety of toys and other products….
The European Single Market is 25 years young. A generation of Europeans has grown up with it and benefitted from it. We will keep making it stronger so that the next generation will benefit even more.

art 50 notification withdrawal case to proceed March 20, 2018

Posted by Bradley in : brexit , add a comment

The Court of Session (Inner House) addressed a challenge to the rejection of a petition for a preliminary reference on the issue of withdrawal of the Art. 50 notification. The case should proceed to a full hearing. The Court said:

if this petition were shorn of its rhetoric and extraneous and irrelevant material and were reduced, after adjustment, to a manageable size which conformed to Lord Hope’s guidance in Somerville v Scottish Ministers … a case of substance, albeit not necessarily one which is likely to succeed, can be discovered. The issue of whether it is legally possible to revoke the notice of withdrawal is, as already stated, one of great importance. On one view, authoritative guidance on whether it is legally possible to do so may have the capacity to influence Members of Parliament in deciding what steps to take in advance of, and at the time of, a debate and vote on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. After all, if Parliament is to be regarded as sovereign, the Government’s position on the legality of revoking the notice may not be decisive. Whether such guidance falls within the proper scope of judicial review aises yet another issue. However, that scope is wide and … the law is always developing and, in certain areas,it can do so quickly and dramatically.The scope of judicial review of Government policy may be one such area, at least where no issue of questioning what is said in Parliament arises.

flowers misconduct leads to financial services ban March 6, 2018

Posted by Bradley in : regulation , add a comment

The Financial Conduct Authority banned Paul Flowers, ex Chair of the Co-Operative Bank, from the financial services industry. I’m not sure whether this decision reinforces confidence in the FCA’s approach to policing misconduct or not. The Final Notice singles out his inappropriate use of his work telephone and email accounts to call chat lines and send and receive inappropriate messages (including sexually explicit messages) and his conviction for possession of illegal drugs. And the notice states:

The misconduct…. occurred notwithstanding that Mr Flowers had agreed to uphold high standards, as the Chair of Co-op Bank, as an Approved Person and as a Methodist Minister. Mr Flowers has demonstrated through his actions that he lacks the readiness and willingness to comply with standards to which he is subject, including those of the regulatory system. As such, he lacks the fitness and propriety required to operate in the financial services industry.

It may be that a Methodist Minister would appear by virtue of that status to be more trustworthy than a non-Minister, thus disappointment about moral and legal failings may be greater. But I am not sure why this belongs in the final notice.