Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Hilary Appel

Rights Information

© 2015 Sophia C. Heriot


This thesis will examine Britain’s role within the European Union through an analysis of the banker bonus cap. British politicians challenged the cap on the grounds that the required fixed ratio between fixed and variable pay would negatively impact the competitiveness and stability of European financial services in the long-run. While Britain’s legal challenge was primarily motivated by concerns about cap’s effects on London specifically, it also correctly predicted the cap’s detrimental consequences. The decision of the European Court of Justice to reject Britain’s challenge despite its legitimacy reflects the gradual marginalization of British interests within the EU’s policymaking process. Since the financial crisis of 2008, Britain’s relationship with the European Union has further deteriorated as the Eurozone struggles to stabilize its currency union. Meanwhile, Euroskepticism has moved from the periphery of Britain’s political arena to the mainstream.

The forces driving Britain and Europe apart are particularly apparent in the realm of financial regulation. British politicians display an increasing tendency to challenge the EU’s efforts to regulate financial services within Europe. The central tension which emerges from this dynamic is that, while Euroskepticism may be driving Britain’s politicians away from political integration with the EU, the success of Britain’s financial services sector remains fundamentally dependent on access to the common market. Ultimately, an analysis of Britain’s response to the cap in the larger context of its relationship with Europe demonstrates that Britain’s economic wellbeing relies on Britain’s politicians demonstrating a greater willingness to commit to the political dimension of the EU.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.