Gove slams investment banks over EU relationship

Lynsey Barber
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Gove appeared on Peston on Sunday (Source: ITV)

Michael Gove has fired shots at investment banks and big business in the midst of EU referendum campaigning, saying the EU is rigged in their favour.

One of the most high profile campaigners for leaving the EU alongside Boris Johnson, Gove said that big banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley calling the shots in the EU was not good for "working people".

"I think actually one of the problems with the European Union is the market is rigged in favour of the big investment banks who’ve consistently made the wrong calls from the point of view of working people," he said.

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"I’m a critic of organisations like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Goldman Sachs were responsible for signing off Greece’s entry into the Euro, they must have known that that wasn’t a good idea but they took their fee. Goldman Sachs were the organisation responsible as we now know from the film The Big Short for many of the woes that led to the crash in 2008, and I think it’s instructive that these big investment banks are giving money to the In campaign and they spend a lot on lobbying the European Union and I think that instead of an organisation rigged in favour of the big banks we should have a democracy that works for working people."

The comments follow a debate on the referendum held on Friday, in which the justice minister urged Britain to "take back control" from "unelected elites".

“Many of those organisations that have been cited so regularly as being in favour of our being in the EU are organisations that have consistently made errors, that receive money in many cases from the EU. They are not genuinely independent, they are organisations with an agenda and an agenda that has often been wrong,” said Gove in the sit down interview with Sky News in front of a studio audience.

Now, appearing on ITV's Peston on Sunday show, Gove was asked to name the members of the "elite" who are bad.

"Well, I wouldn't say morally bad, but Jean-Claude Junker, for me," said Gove, in addition to taking a swipe at the big banks.

"I think it's important to, and lots of people on the Remain side have done the same thing, to avoid personalising it and to talk about principles.

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"I'm sure he [JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon] is a nice friend, and kind to animals, and his children love him, so I'm not going to personalise it."

Dimon warned last week that Britain leaving the EU would be "a terrible deal for the British Economy".

Presenter Robert Peston asked: "Why are the bosses of banks bad people and Rupert Murdoch, your mate, is a good person?"

Gove replied: "I'm on the side of those who are entrepreneurs, those who have created wealth, rather than those who simply shuffle paper and move capital around. And I think that one of the striking things about the European Union, is that it tends to favour the vested interests, the already comfortable."