In my opinion, there are countless precious and all but irreplaceable things that the UK will lose if it leaves the EU, including access to many of the EU-wide initiatives, agencies and programmes that make the bloc such a success. And so it rubs salt into the wound when, in the very month we are holding an election that, in effect, will determine whether we remain or leave, the Council of the European Union has made up its mind on an AML-ish debate that I have been following for years: should there be an overarching EU AML body? (Spoiler alert: yes there should.)
At a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council of the EU on 5 December 2019, Mika Lintilä (Minister for finance of Finland) confirmed that “fighting money laundering and terrorist financing is a key priority for the European Union”. Facing a seemingly unstoppable flow of AML failings at large European banks, the EFA Council acknowledged that there are “a range of shortcomings with respect to banks, AML authorities, prudential supervisors and intra-EU cooperation and… that there is fragmentation in both AML rules and supervision.” They therefore recommend that the European Commission should consider “the possibilities, advantages and disadvantages of conferring certain supervisory responsibilities and powers to an EU body”.
I cannot tell you how much I would like to work at such a place. Can you imagine working in either Brussels or Luxembourg (where they put most EU agencies) – both stuffed with gorgeous buildings and chocolatiers – and being able to spend all day working on promoting the very best in AML… But of course, why on earth would the UK want to belong to such an agency – after all, we’ve made such a marvellous job of preventing money laundering through our own jurisdiction that we have no use whatsoever for any foreign expertise. And now I am going to hide under the duvet until the election results are in the day after tomorrow.
Susan, Interesting article. Not with you on ‘remain’ and ever since being a bright eyed enthusiastic student in Dublin in the late 60s, early 70 I have never understood why the EU did not become the Free Trade area that it should have been without all the other National/sovereign powers that it has attempted to take over and take on. I’ll stop now as this could lead to months of discussion. I think you might have to hide under the duvet a little longer as you only go to the polls tomorrow so the results probably won’t be available till tomorrow evening or early the next morning………feel the frisson of excitement!!!
Thank you for your comment, CDWOS – in the interests of harmony, let’s agree to differ on leaving/remaining! And you’re right about the extended duvet hiding – I have amended the final sentence. It’s all been so endless I lose track of time…