Europe’s Plans Will Destroy London

PETER OTOOLE/iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Europe’s Plans Will Destroy London

From the November-December 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

European bureaucrats see the global economic crisis as an opportunity. “It’s now or never,” European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said. “If we cannot reform the financial sector when we have a real crisis, when will we?”

They are seizing the chance not only to reform the financial sector, but also to reshape the Continent. One of their most stunning moves has been to use this crisis as a pretext for advancing a long-term pet project: stripping the once-great Britain of its national sovereignty and global power.

The German Institute for International and Security Affairs, an independent think tank that advises the German government, predicts that Britain is finished. In an August report called “Great Britain at a Crossroads,” it explained why the island nation is rapidly about to lose what little remains of its global political significance. Embedded within the report was a startling admission.

Britain’s strong military always assured the nation “its seat among the great powers,” the paper said. No longer. In Iraq and Afghanistan, its armed forces are stretched to the breaking point. Outclassed and underfunded, Britain will soon have to abandon one of its premier armament projects, such as its nuclear fleet. That decision will “lead to the loss of whole industrial sectors,” striking a fatal blow to the already crippled British economy (translations from Additional pains are coming, as the UK’s tax revenues are projected to plummet 14 percent next year.

And on top of all that, the paper says—in not so many words: European leaders are about to deal the death blow to London’s status as a global financial capital. How? Through oppressive regulation.

“European Commission plans to apply stricter rules for monitoring financial markets,” it says, “could also lead to a significant loss of importance for London as a financial center” (my translation and emphasis).

That the burdens Europe is about to impose “could” drag London down is putting it charitably. With Britain already drowning from the financial collapse, Europe is preparing to hold it underwater with regulations.

We have already reported on the regimen it is about to dictate (“The Greatest Heist of All Time,” October). In June, European leaders—an unenthusiastic Gordon Brown included—agreed to a massive regulatory superstructure. A European Systemic Risk Council will unite central bankers to help ensure big-picture financial stability, both across the Continent and country by country. More worryingly, under an umbrella called the European System of Financial Supervisors, three new pan-European watchdog organizations will begin overseeing financial institutions next year: a banking authority, an insurance and pensions authority, and a securities authority. This will create “a common supervisory culture and consistent supervisory practices,” the plan says, trumping the authority of member state supervisors and even directly supervising some firms. “In short, this body will have immense powers,” says the Adam Smith Institute, a UK-based think tank.

The Adam Smith Institute rightly says that “the proposals seem opportunistic, using the financial crisis to provide an opening for long-held political objectives”—taking advantage while Britain “is too weak to object.”

It was only a few years ago that Britain’s bankers and businessmen were giddily boasting and toasting themselves as being “the world’s greatest global financial center,” as London’s mayor said in 2006. Virtually overnight, London has been reduced to having to prostrate itself before European overseers. Clearly Europe is relishing the moment as it shackles Britain with burdensome regulations fully knowing that doing so will smother London’s global influence.

Watch for Europe now to implement strategies to shift that business to the Continent. Biblical prophecy directs us to remain alert for Europe to become the world’s financial capital, if only briefly, in this end time. With so much in flux right now, jittery investors are eager to find a new financial safe haven—away from both the United States and Britain. Contenders include financial centers in the Middle East and Asia. Prophecy informs us that the short-term, big-time winner will be Europe.

The UK did nothing to help itself with its own financial misconduct. But in the end its bigger mistake will prove to be its too-close relationship with Europe. The Continent simply doesn’t have Britain’s interests at heart, and never has had. From its inception 36 years ago, this alliance has been a disaster for Britain. Once history’s greatest empire, the UK has surrendered its sovereignty piece by precious piece. Europe has almost entirely swallowed it within a single generation. Prophecy strongly suggests that Britain will wake up and leave the EU—but by then it will be too late. It will have grown irreversibly weak.

We remember the words of Herbert W. Armstrong after the UK joined the European Community on Jan. 1, 1973. In the March edition of the Plain Truth newsmagazine that year, he warned that Britain would one day look back on it as “a most tragically historic date—a date fraught with ominous potentialities!”

He was right. To those paying attention, that day is now.