My first thought when I read the following was: "Who are they blackmailing? It could only be Brown. I wonder what for?" And then I thought: "Cameron has been very silent over so many EU problems. Is he being blackmailed too?" What follows is from today's Open Europe
press summary. See:http://us.mc456.mail.yahoo.com/mc/welco ... nd=7684611UK Government admits it will not produce an Impact Assessment for controversial EU proposal on alternative investment
In a response to a Freedom of Information request put forward by Open Europe, the UK Government has admitted that it will not produce an Impact Assessment for the EU's proposed Directive on alternative investment funds. The proposal has been subject to widespread criticism in the UK - primarily among hedge funds and private equity groups - amid concerns that the new rules would hurt the competitiveness of the City of London. In its answer to the FOI request, the Government said that "because of the very foreshortened timescale on which the directive is being negotiated, we will not be publishing a formal impact assessment." (Ref 9/411).
Meanwhile, the Guardian notes that Sweden - whose government is currently holding the rotating chair of the EU - is leading an effort to redraft the current proposal to "solve some of the problems" that have been raised by the industry. The revision of the proposal is currently being carried out by COREPER, a body which operates under EU ministers, consisting of experts from all member states. The European Parliament - who has as much power as national ministers over the proposal - is expected to begin its own revision of the proposal in late August. Comment: This proposal is being rushed through against all Government guidelines and principles on how new laws should be drafted and agreed. The UK Government has made Impact Assessments (IAs) a key feature of its 'regulatory reform agenda', precisely to avoid this kind of scenario. Agreeing to the proposal without fully assessing its potential impact is both foolish and sets a worrying precedent, especially given the widespread concern that the regulation will hurt EU and UK economies.
According to the Government's guidelines, IAs should ensure that regulations are necessary and proportionate while not introducing unnecessary costs. "Any proposal" the guidelines state, "that imposes or reduces costs on businesses or the third sector requires an Impact Assessment...an Impact Assessment needs to be completed for all forms of intervention". Furthermore, they state: "In the earliest stages of policy development, it is particularly important that policy-makers should use Impact Assessment to help them understand and define the policy challenge and to analyse the case for Government intervention." Regarding EU proposals, the guidelines say that "Impact Assessments should be prepared in order to inform the UK negotiating position and collective agreement on it". UK officials are instructed to "make use of the UK impact assessment when lobbying other Member States to win support for the UK position." Watchet