But our problem is not really in the European Union; our problem is that a number of territories – some very friendly to us, at least nominally – continue to do exactly as they please in terms of acting like financial centres and, indeed, being launderettes. I am talking about British Crown dependencies, which are, apparently, independent of the will of Mr Cameron, who speaks out very loudly for all sort of transparency but seems to be rather unable to contain anything that his boys and girls do in the Channel Islands, the British Virgin Islands or territories more exotic than these.
I am talking about the half-dozen or so full offshore jurisdictions contained within the United States of America. We do not have any sort of influence on what happens to money that ends up there or on what sort of money gets out of there. Furthermore, we will never be able – whether the register is public or not – to find out who is behind structures there, because they will never yield any information about beneficial ownership, in contrast to what European Union jurisdictions have been doing for years. So let us now focus our efforts on convincing all those who are not yet convinced that our approach is right. That also means talking very seriously to friends.
- Tuesday, 11 March 2014