Never has so much opportunity been wasted at cost to so many for the sake of the brazen dogma of a few

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It's a wet Sunday morning and I will shortly be heading for Stansted to Bratislava to take part in an Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance that is going to be held within the framework of the Slovak Presidency of the EU Council. My theme is tackling tax evasion within the EU. I suspect there may be more on that from me tomorrow.

This morning my concern is more general. It is that right now I am invited to such a conference when there is obvious doubt about whether such invitations will be offered in the future.

And there is my doubt as to whether the UK can really tackle these issues alone when the EU has, for all its faults, been an overall effective agent in the fight against tax abuse.

Most worrying is the fact that this invitation came to me through City, University of London, and UK universities are already realising that they are being dropped from all new EU based projects: those I am now starting are amongst the last we might enjoy and there is not a hint of alternative funding coming from the UK government right now.

I find it staggering that we will apparently throw away so much for the sake of supposedly controlling immigration, despite the fact that in those areas where we can already chose to do that we very often do not precisely because we want the skills of those who are keen to come to the UK.

Never has so much opportunity been wasted at cost to so many for the sake of the brazen dogma of a few.