Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden, Conservative):

    Is my right hon. Friend confident that the very welcome proposals he has announced will not be swept away by the tsunami of regulations bearing down on us from Europe under the Single Market Act, even though none of those regulations creates a single new opportunity for financial services businesses to trade on the continent and all of them result in the transfer of power from this country to Europe to regulate our most important industry?

    Greg Clark (Tunbridge Wells, Conservative):

    My right hon. Friend is right when he talks about our most important industry—certainly in terms of exports and what it contributes to the taxes that pay for public services. It is significant that more euros are traded in this country than across the entire eurozone. For that reason, we need to continue to have access to the single market and to argue—as I and the Chancellor do in ECOFIN after ECOFIN—to ensure that we secure our interests there. That is a constant fight, but I know that I and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor will always take that view when we are in Brussels.