MICHEL Barnier, the internal market commissioner for the European Commission (EC), will appear before a potentially hostile group of MPs on Monday week, it emerged yesterday.
Barnier’s initial reluctance to come before the Treasury Select Committee caused chairman Andrew Tyrie to appeal to the EC president Jose Manuel Barroso.
Tyrie was frustrated by Barnier’s suggestion that his most senior official Jonathan Faull should come in his place and told Barroso that the UK, which has a large proportion of the EU’s share of global financial activity, deserved better.
Yesterday, Barnier’s spokeswoman said that he would be well prepared for the meeting, which is expected to reflect City fears that London is at risk from creeping EU legislation.
“He will take it very seriously,” his spokeswoman said.
“I am sure there will be some hard questions but our job is to explain what we are doing and how we are working with all stakeholders.”
She said that Barnier had never tried to avoid the meeting but had simply not been able to make the dates originally proposed.
It is believed that Tyrie and his committee colleagues are pleased Barnier is coming to the UK before Christmas.