After Dave Cameron's speech to the World Economic forum in Davos last week where he promised an in/out referendum for the UK on EU membership. EU officials have launched an unofficial campaign to keep the island nation in the EU block. The UK accounts for 75% of the financial transactions that take place in the EU covering the 640 trillion $ derivatives market.
Athanasios Orphanides, a former member of the European Central Bank’s governing council. said It would be catastrophic and suicidal for Britain to leave. The UK would lose the protection it currently enjoys as the eurozone’s major financial center."
Mr Orphanides said the ECB is already clamping down on payments, clearing and settlement systems conducted in euros outside its jurisdiction, a move deemed necessary to head off future crises.
“The only thing stopping regulation that would shift all such activities from London to the eurozone is the legal protection the City enjoys in the EU,” he told The Daily Telegraph.While Britain is in a “very strong” position now as an EU member outside the Eurozone, this would evaporate the moment the UK tears up its membership card. “The UK would be the big loser. I don’t believe it will happen because Britain has the best technocrats in the world, and the British people are rational,” he said.
"Legal guerrilla warfare is already under way and EU officials say privately that the struggle for control over the financial industry is reaching a critical point, with Britain rapidly key losing allies. The UK Treasury filed a case at the European Court in late 2011 to block ECB plans that would limit euro transactions by clearing houses if they take place outside EMU territory. It said large-scale euro contracts should come under the sway of the ECB, since no other central bank can issue the currency as a lender of last resort in an emergency." (AEP, Daily Telegraph).