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Oprah Winfrey accepts the Cecil B. Demille Award during the 75th Golden Globe Awards (Credit Image: USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images)

UnHerd Elsewhere: The EU’s ridiculous business regulations and how the march for equality will not be stopped

Writing for the Telegraph on Sunday, Juliet Samuel bemoans the latest piece of EU regulation for financial institutions. Released last week, the “Markets In Financial Instruments Directive II” (or ‘MIFID 2’) is 7,000 pages long:

“That’s 1.4million paragraphs, or six Bible-lengths. It must surely be a contender for the longest piece of red tape ever.”

The purpose of MIFID 2 is essentially to “overhaul the bowels of the entire European financial system…It will cost billions to implement and shape markets for decades to come.” In her article, Juliet suggests that Britain should use Brexit as an opportunity to escape from the red tape of the EU, and avoid having to subscribe to legislation such as MIFID 2:

“If the EU refuses to negotiate a sensible deal on regulatory cooperation and market access for our financial sector, Britain will have to make it work without one. This is not an easy task, but deregulating by abolishing Mifid 2 provides a very good example of where we might start.”

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In an article for the Sunday Herald, Chris Deerin looks at the history of some of Scotland’s most transformative and heroic women. From Flora “The General” Drummond, leading campaigner for equal rights, to Jessie Stephen, founder of the Scottish Domestic Workers’ Federation. These women led the way in the fight for women’s equality. In this article, Chris suggests that the battle for equality may be nearing completion:

“Their battles for recognition, equality and the right to live the lives they chose are still being fought in infinite variety today. But if they were in there at the beginning, is it possible that we are finally moving towards the beginning of the end – towards their final victory?”

At the Golden Globes on Sunday night, Oprah Winfrey made a soul-stirring speech about a culture “broken by brutally powerful men”. The following day it emerged that the BBC’s China Editor, Carrie Gracie, had resigned over gender pay discrimination. On both occasions, the women in question called for women everywhere to stand up and demand greater gender equality. Oprah was positive in how far we have come in the past few months, since the Harvey Weinstein Scandal, but she insists that the march towards equality must go on. Chris Deerin sees in the events of the past few months hopeful signs that we are reaching the final furlong in this endeavour:

“This march towards equality will not be stopped and will only gain momentum… The arc of progress bends instead towards liberalism and fairness. In the past few decades, one dusty, secretive institution after another has trembled under the pitiless glare of public scrutiny – the Royals, MPs and the Lords, newspapers and the BBC, the banks and the secret services and so on. There’s still plenty to resolve there, of course, but our gaze is already probing deeper, towards issues of gender, class, race and sexuality.”

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