Boris was in Brussels yesterday attempting to fight new EU plans to regulate hedge funds and private equity forms which the Mayor believes will have a hugely damaging effect on both London and the EU.
Twitter at 9am yesterday morning: “On my way to Brussels to stop EU plans that will cost London & UK jobs and billions in tax.”
Makes him sound a bit like some sort of secret agent or superhero, doesn’t it?
Twitter at 1pm: “Good meeting with British MEPs. All parties agreed this damaging EU directive must be changed.”
Bozza said: â€œWe came here in peace in a constructive way to set out that, if we get this directive wrong, it risks damaging not just London but the whole of the EU. People understand that the financial services industry has a vital job to do and we want to keep them in Europe. There is no suggestion or evidence that investment funds were in any way to blame for the financial crisis and it is difficult to see the justification for this level of regulation.â€?
Although SuperBoJo’s flying visit was broadly welcomed by British MEPs, he might have a job on to stop the plans going through. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, the former Danish prime minister who is now leader of the Party of European Socialists, said: â€œBoris Johnson is out of touch with reality if he thinks he can water down this legislation. Instead of getting Mayor Johnson to lobby on their behalf, the City of London should be very satisfied they have escaped so lightly. He says hedge funds and private equity played no role in the financial crisis, but the point is to avoid future crises. In any case, hedge funds and private equity did play a major role in the explosion of excessive debt, which was at the heart of the crisis.â€?
Still, Boris was cheered by his “very friendly” and “warm” meeting with Charlie McCreevy from Father Ted [er, no. He’s the EU Commissioner in charge of financial services – Boriswatch Ed] who has “encouraged us to continue to play our part in this process and I fully intend to do so.” (Boris, not us, obv.)