Catch the Eye on financial data draft agreement
6TH JULY 2010: This morning Andrew Brons spoke in the European Parliament under the 'Catch the Eye' procedure to a debate on the new draft agreement between the United States and the European Union that will facilitate the transfer of financial data, ostensibly to combat terrorism.
"The so-called safeguard in the new draft agreement is an element of European Union control (Europol) over the extraction in the United States of transferred bulk data. Even if this control were to be exercised in good faith, I do not believe that the individuals (exercising the control) would have the confidence to refuse requests for extraction of data, from the United States, if it were to be said, quite untruthfully, to combat terrorism.
"However, United States foreign policy is much wider than opposition to terrorism and it is quite probable that the U.S. would seek to gain access to financial data that would be used against its wider political opponents and not just to real terrorists.
"My opposition to this Treaty is not limited to its content. The responsibility for treaties affecting sensitive, confidential information belongs properly to sovereign nation states and not to supra-national bodies like the European Union.