The surprise camaraderie enjoyed by the U.K. in European circles, vis-à-vis the European Community’s campaign to destroy London’s status as a global financial center, has evaporated as quickly as it appeared. As if to fortify the opinion of Euroskeptics across Great Britain that the U.K.’s European partners are fey, duplicitous and centralizing all at the same time, Germany et. al. have said, “We’re happy to sign an impotent letter complaining about something we can no longer do anything about, but you can’t expect us to stand in the way of impotent populist measures directed at people who don’t live in our countries.”
And so the limits on bank bonuses move forward, which means anything along a spectrum from “nothing” to “we’re tripling your salary” to “pack your bags, we’re moving to New York/Hong Kong/Singapore.”
On the bright side, we’ve perhaps a new dawn in Anglo-Irish relations?
Ireland, which holds the rotating presidency of the Union, helped to broker talks on the bonus cap last week with legislators of the European Parliament. On Tuesday, Michael Noonan, the finance minister of Ireland, said there was “now there is very little further we can do for” Britain.
“We pushed the negotiations to quite a degree and we got the best possible compromise,” Mr. Noonan said.