Thursday, November 10, 2011

Two questions, two answers

Lord Willoughby de Broke has asked HMG
what is their assessment of the draft proposal by the European Commission to "temporarily prohibit" credit rating agencies from publishing their analyses on a member state's solvency.
The answer was:
The House of Lords EU Economic and Financial Affairs and International Trade Sub-Committee's published a report in July entitled Sovereign Credit Ratings: Shooting the Messenger?. The report concluded that the proposal of credit ratings being suspended for countries receiving international financial assistance was inappropriate and impractical and implied censorship.

The Government agreed with the report's assessment. In particular, temporarily suspending ratings for certain sovereigns would only reduce information in financial markets, exacerbate uncertainty and possibly lead to further contagion. In the absence of such ratings, it is likely that unregulated shadow ratings of these countries would emerge in any case.
So there we are. That answer can be quoted next time the subject comes up.

Scrolling down one finds a question from a member of the Kinnock Enterprises Inc. no other but Glenys, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead. She wanted to know:
what are the fundamental reforms of the European Union which they are determined to deliver.
This is an odd one to put down as a Written Question as it is so meaningless. You put it down as a Starred Question either because you want your own party's front bench to come up with an anodyne and reassuring answer or because you want to mess up the other side. But if you put it down in writing it looks terribly as if you wanted to know. Who can possibly want to know the answer to that meaningless question.

Nevertheless, HMG provided one:
The Government's immediate priority is for the eurozone to find a sustainable response to the current economic crisis, and to do so in a way that protects the rights of all 27 member states to take decisions over areas such as the single market. We shall also continue to press for tight limits on EU spending and action to promote growth and jobs, through free and open markets, and by cutting regulatory costs on European business. And the Government have committed to examining the balance of existing competences between member states and the European Union and, in particular, to work to limit the application of the working time directive in the United Kingdom.
A daring programme, wouldn't you agree.


  1. Well, I suppose it was an answer of sorts. It seems to me to perpetuate the string of lies that are trotted out every time Europe, meaning the EU is mentioned. But, did she declare an interest? And yes, I do know the answer, just a little sarcasm seeping in!

  2. Well, it was a Written Question so she did not need to declare an interest. And, of course, she is bound to whenever there is a debate in the Chamber. And pigs will take off in large formation.