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London Mayor Says U.K. Should Block EU Limit on Bonuses

Blanc, Johnson
Raymond Blanc explains the finer points of the restaurant business to London Mayor Boris Johnson. The mayor was visiting Brasserie Blanc in the City of London to thank the chef for employing apprentices. Photographer: Richard Vines/ Bloomberg.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the U.K. government should be ready to block European Union proposals to limit banker’s bonuses and said the plan is an attack on London as a financial center.

“We don’t try to cap the pay of oil executives or football players,” Johnson said today. “I can see why people rage about what happened with the banks but this is an attempt to knock London off its perch and we’re not going to let it happen.”

Johnson said the U.K. should be ready to invoke the “Luxembourg Compromise,” which allows an EU government to block a majority decision when it is highly detrimental to the national interest.

“I really hope Brussels will think again,” Johnson told reporters. “It’s not just hostile to the greatest financial center on earth. It’s hostile to growth across the EU. If this did succeed, people would just head off to New York or Singapore.”

He was speaking at a media event in Brasserie Blanc in the City of London to celebrate chef Raymond Blanc’s support for the mayor’s drive to create apprenticeships for young people. Blanc has taken on 21 apprentices at Brasserie Blanc restaurants.

“I’m looking to all my colleagues, from the little cafe down the road through to the three Michelin star restaurants and big hotels to support apprenticeships,” Blanc said.

He said that in the kitchen of his restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, outside Oxford, there were just three local British chefs. In France, the total would be much higher.

The mayor thanked Blanc for his support and called on the capital’s 17 billion-pound ($25 billion) food and hospitality industry to seek to employ more young people.

(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. He is U.K. and Ireland chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Opinions expressed are his own.)

Muse highlights include George Walden on books, Jorg von Uthmann on Paris culture and Ryan Sutton on New York food.

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