Lord Hill, the government’s nomination of European commissioner, showed whose side he would be on as he faced MEPs today in Brussels.
As members of the economic and monetary affairs committee asked questions to the nominee for the portfolio of financial services Lord Hill, the former leader of the House of Lords, said that it was not his role to protect the interests of The City from EU regulation.
“It is my job to work in the general interest. I did not come here to promote the interests of particular groups” He said.
All Commissioners take an oath of loyalty to the EU and its institutions:
“To be completely independent in carrying out responsibilities in the general interests of the union… [neither] to seek nor to take instruction from any government or from any other institution, body, office or entity. “
But there is no doubting that the Conservatives were hoping his appointment – particularly with the role overseeing the city of London – hope to show the UK still had clout to bring about change in the EU.
Steven Woolfe, who worked in a number of firms in The City, asked Lord Hill about the role he will play in initiating legislation affecting the UK’s most important sector, was told “that the City of London will work best in an EU regulatory framework.”
“Most of the city’s business is outside of the EU,” said Mr Woolfe, “and so all The City has to bear the cost of the regulations. As there is no power to change the regulations and those regulations are increasing it is incredulous to think they work best for our financial services industry.”
In a further blow to Lord Hill, UKIP leader Nigel Farage called on the current Privy Councillor to resign from his position advising The Queen.
Speaking exclusively to Breitbart London Mr Farage said: “The two are utterly irreconcilable” referring to the oath to the Sovereign all Privy Councillors take including to “defend her jurisdiction”.
“He cannot serve two masters” Mr Farage added.