By Alex Barker in Brussels
This article was first published on December 3 2012
If Britain dominated European carmaking and Germany ruled financial services, EU diplomacy would be an awful lot easier – or so quips Britain’s ambassador to Brussels.
Sir Jon Cunliffe’s sally, delivered in the long slog of a banking union negotiation, was received only half in jest. For the apple of discord in Britain’s recent EU travails has been the City of London and its place as Europe’s financial centre.
Much to the chagrin of the eurozone, Britain’s top industry prospers from serving a currency union the UK will not join. One senior EU official said that “keeping an amicable distance is not an option”; financial services is ...