Its most prominent feature has been the importance of the financial sector, the City of London, both economically and politically. The City of London forms with the Treasury and the Bank of England an extremely powerful economic policy community that has normally been successful in shaping the policy of British governments on major economic issues. Priority has generally been given to the interests and perspectives of the City rather than those of manufacturing or the trade unions in determining the national interest (Aspinwall 2004). There was no similar test for manufacturing. The nature of the City as an international financial centre has always led it to favor a policy of openness to the markets of the whole world, not just Europe. "For Britain, therefore, deregulation, whether nationally or the European Union-inspired, has been experienced as deregulation, with the creation of legal procedures, where informal agreements generally held, and the establishment of independent regulatory bodies" (Schmidt 1997, p. 167). Also, the business cycle in the Great Britain has normally been aligned with the US economy rather than the European economy. This provides a practical obstacle to early entry; but, more than that, it symbolizes a different view as to where British economic interests lie.
Politically, on ...Show more