Brexit Campaign Seeks to Free Bank Rules From Brussels `Cesspit'

The campaign for Britain to leave the European Union said the country should free regulation of its banks from the EU “cesspit,” saying the 28-nation bloc’s institutions can’t be trusted to pass suitable rules.

Arguing that big investment banks had driven “the whole system off the cliff in 2008,” Vote Leave Campaign Director Dominic Cummings told lawmakers on Parliament’s Treasury Committee on Wednesday that the EU had passed some “pretty sensible” rules since then. Still, he said, he doesn’t trust the European Commission or the European Court of Justice and the U.K. authorities are better placed to govern the country’s own banks.

“Taking back control over regulation of the banks and over vital issues such as capital requirements is crucial, and I certainly would not trust that to the cesspit of Brussels lobbying, where Goldman Sachs has its people in there with fingers in every pie,” Cummings said. “I think this Parliament should decide the rules on how banks like Goldman Sachs operate.”

Cummings was testifying as part of the panel’s inquiry into the costs and benefits of EU membership ahead of the June 23 referendum . Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will be questioned by the committee next week after the Treasury issued a report Monday warning of permanent economic damage in the event of a vote to leave the EU -- a so-called Brexit.

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