ECB president calls for a more European UK
Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), stated that “Europe needs a more European UK as much as the UK needs a more British Europe” in a speech delivered to bankers in the City of London, reflecting continental Europe’s unease over the effect that might arise from a UK withdrawal.
In the speech made on Thursday evening, Mr Draghi stated that he did not want to enter into a domestic policy debate, but wanted to remind his audience of the level of independence between the UK and Europe.
“With such deep interconnections, the UK and the euro area share a common interest: the stability in the functioning of our economic system and in particular our financial markets,” he explained.
Mr Draghi then went on to highlight a number of key figures, such as 40 per cent of deposits in Eurozone banks that come from the UK, that 40 per cent of all loans granted by Eurozone banks go to UK residence and that trading between the UK and 17 member euro area amounts to £200 billion in yearly trade.
Mr Draghi ended his speech outlining his crisis-fighting measures, such as the creation of the banking union, saying that to solve the crisis the answer is not “less Europe but more Europe”.
Mr Draghi’s presence in London comes amid tensions with the Treasury. Chancellor George Osborne has recently launched legal action against a proposed EU levy on financial transactions, which traders fear could have a harmful effect on the city.