Dame Lucy thinks it’s all going swimmingly

I had begun to fear I was not going to get any more leaked letters from the senior civil service, when across my desk in a brown envelope the following turned up. It is one of Dame Lucy’s latest to her deputy, Dr Roy Spendlove.

Dear Roy,

I am writing to reassure you. The government may be saying it no longer takes green policies seriously, but the requirements of the climate change agenda have been built in strongly at the EU level as well as into domestic laws and regulations. The same is true of the open borders policy which the previous government embraced with enthusiasm. Our Treaty obligations and the twin constraints of the European Court of Human Rights and of the European Court of Justice will require Ministers to stay true to the policy of the free movement of people throughout the EU.

In a long pre election period we should expect political statements about the wish to cut the price of energy and the wish to control numbers arriving in the UK from one of the governing parties. We should always question Ministers to make sure it is the Coalition speaking and not just a wish by one party within the coalition. We should also of course seek to do as Ministers wish, but our first necessity is to ensure they and we remain within the rule of law.

Knowing of your concerns, I would like to make you responsible for ensuring all colleagues dealing with Ministers understand the need to have a good understanding of EU law. We must avoid infraction proceedings against the government we serve, and help the government to avoid statements or policy demands which could annoy our European partners. I know consultancy and related budgets are tight, but I do have a contingency fund which we can use should need arise to ensure we have enough good legal advice on hand. I do not wish to see years of patient and careful diplomacy undermined by rash words and promises from Ministers not entirely in sympathy with our European approach.

I am pleased to see colleagues in DECC are well aware of the need to stay within the requirements of the Large Plants Directive to retire older generating plant, and within the ambitious targets of the Renewables policy to provide enough new windfarms. I would like you to help keep the Treasury and Business Department on board. There is no likelihood of any change to the fundamental EU law on this important matter. Ministers seeking some relief to electricity bills may be able to find a temporary subsidy from elsewhere in their budgets, but in the end it is Ministers’ duties to explain to the public that the EU anti global warming policy is important and does require rationing of energy use by price.

I am more concerned by the recent spate of comments, speeches and polls on the topic of the free movement of peoples. Free movement rests at the heart of the European project which the British people chose in a referendum in 1975 and have endorsed in all subsequent General Elections by their votes. It is true now that one of the Coalition parties wants a renegotiation and a new relationship, but we must be clear. This is not Coalition policy and so the civil service must in no way assist with it. It will be debated in future elections in 2014 and 2015. Until and unless a government is elected pledged to do this we must continue with the EU policies that have been ably implemented in recent years with substantial Treaty increases in EU powers.

In the meantime, if the Coalition as a whole is now asking for a revised approach to open borders within the EU, we need to offer them the strongest possible advice that the previous government signed us up to free movement. There is little sign that the rest of the EU wishes to alter these fundamental requirements of the amalgamated Treaties.

Yours

Lucy

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83 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    “It is true now that one of the Coalition parties wants a renegotiation and a new relationship” – well they say that, but anyway this party has virtually no chance of being elected, especially with an overall majority. Even then they will surely change their tune post election as their earlier serial ratting would suggest.

    “In the end it is Ministers’ duties to explain to the public that the EU anti global warming policy is important and does require rationing of energy use by price.” True but this is increasing difficult as more and more start think for themselves and look at the real science and to realise that the BBC and the schools have fed them drivel for years.

    In the word of Richard Lindzen an American atmospheric physicist and Professor of Meteorology:

    “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.”

    And no only to contemplate but to actually actually enact.

    Open borders and benefit and health tourism is clearly just another price we have to pay for EU membership.
    “we need to offer them the strongest possible advice that the previous government signed us up to free movement. There is little sign that the rest of the EU wishes to alter these fundamental requirements of the amalgamated Treaties.”

    The wishes of 80%+ of the electorate are thus irrelevant, it is no longer after all a democracy or anything like one.

    • Hope
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Dame Lucy is correct that the Lib Lab CON will continue to act as the UK regional executive arm of the EU. There is only one hope of change from Dame Lucy’s stance and that is to vote UKIP. Janet Daley hits the nail on the head with her article today as well as Christopher Booker’s article. After four years in office does anyone in the Tory party know what Cameron stands for? We know what the modernisers want, self interest especially from the likes of Boles. When we see Baronees Ashton at the crucial Irqn meeting, one wonders what citizen of the 27 nations voted for her to be there and who does she actually represent? A fictitious construct by fanatical Europhile MPs like Miliband, Clegg and Cameron?

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        The BBC seemed to thing the Iranian agreement was virtually all down to the EU’s Baroness Ashton which seems rather unlikely.

        Anyway I hope the agreement lasts and works well in the interests of everyone.

    • Timaction
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      A very good article Mr Redwood that clearly mirrors the thoughts of those in Whitehall.
      It’s a crying shame that we are in a position where energy policy is decided on unproven science and it is estimated that tens of thousands of our own pensioners will die as a consequence of choosing “eating over heating”!
      CO2 is a naturally occurring trace gas and is 0.04% of the Earths atmosphere. There has not been any warming for over 15 years. There are record ice levels at the poles. The doomed computer models have not come to pass. There will be future power cuts to meet the obligations of the EU and Climate change laws. We have and will continue to export our manufacturing as a consequence of expensive energy, all based on the climate change religion. The windmills won’t and cannot meet our energy needs.
      I’m afraid that Einstein is quoted as saying the first sign of madness is doing the same things and expecting a different outcome. As far as the leadership of the LibLabCons are not concerned and are fully committed to free movement of people and goods. It is a political project for ever closer union. We do not have to be in it to trade with it Messrs Clegg, Cameron and Milliband. Ask China, USA, Japan, Switzerland. We pay £12 billion net membership fees for a £50 billion trade deficit before we pay for the health, education, housing, child benefit and tax credits for those low paid millions of European workers whilst we keep over 6 million on work related benefits ( just under 1000,000 young people).
      It was reported in the Telegraph recently that as a consequence of the Maastricht Treaty, multi national companies locate to the lowest corporation tax areas in Europe , thus avoiding £118 billion in lost revenue to the treasury.
      So the benefits to the British people of the EU are?

      • uanime5
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        It’s a crying shame that we are in a position where energy policy is decided on unproven science and it is estimated that tens of thousands of our own pensioners will die as a consequence of choosing “eating over heating”!

        1) The IPCC provided evidence that the science was correct.

        2) The elder have had to chose “eating over heating” for several decades, so this problem cannot have been caused by laws that have only recently been implemented.

        CO2 is a naturally occurring trace gas and is 0.04% of the Earths atmosphere.

        That doesn’t make it harmless.

        There has not been any warming for over 15 years.

        According to the IPCC there has been continual warming over the past 15 years.

        There are record ice levels at the poles

        The land ice at both the north and south pole is at one of the lowest recorded level. Though there has been an increase in west sea ice at the south pole the east sea ice has been reduced.

        The doomed computer models have not come to pass.

        The computer models predicted that if we increase CO2 levels temperatures will rise, which is what happened.

        We have and will continue to export our manufacturing as a consequence of expensive energy

        We’ve been exporting manufacturing to countries with cheaper wages for decades. It’s impossible for the UK to compete with third world countries on energy prices or labour costs.

        It was reported in the Telegraph recently that as a consequence of the Maastricht Treaty, multi national companies locate to the lowest corporation tax areas in Europe , thus avoiding £118 billion in lost revenue to the treasury.

        Since Osborne has been slashing corporation tax for several years for some time they should all return to the UK. Unless they left for reasons not relating to corportate tax.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          What is better spending billions as a result of half baked (and so far proven wrong) computer projections from people who cannot predict the weather in three weeks time. Or dealing with malaria, starvation, clean water, birth control, stronger building in hurricane & tornado zones, better flood defences in New Orleans type areas, earth quake resistant building in earth quake zones, keeping the elderly warm, medical research, gm crops, fusion research, even PV and wind research (but not roll out) ……………
          Things we know, for sure, will pay back now not might possibly in 100 years time?

          Even if we did have to cool the Earth lower c02 level is probably not the best way to do it anyway, and no one even knows we will ever need to anyway.

        • Frank salmon
          Posted November 24, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          There is no evidence at all of global warming. Fact.
          Higher energy costs related to tax and subsidy have distorted our economic output away from profitable manufacture in favour of import, subsidy, and services. Fact
          The IPCC is a political farce, financed in such a way as to promote the climate change religion. Fact.
          At the margin, the elderly will die and small businesses will crumble as a result of these policies. Fact
          Even you do not believe – you used the past tense to support the notion that there has BEEN a correlation. It is over. It is crap….

        • Timaction
          Posted November 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          This is tiresome Uanime5. Climate change is a religion NOT science just the same as the EU is an ever closer political union NOT a trading block!
          Windmills don’t work!

          • Lifelogic
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

            Windmills/Turbines do work they just cost about three times as much as doing things more sensibly and they are intermittent and unreliable and so need expensive back up.

            So it all get done in China or somewhere else and so the jobs go too.

        • Richard1
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          Uanime5, it appears that your posts are replete with invented nonsense. It is agreed – for example by the Met Office- that there has been no statistically significant warming for at least 15 years. You talk about land ice at the north pole – there isn’t any,its a sea.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      How many of that 80% bothered to vote for their MEP? Democracy involves involvement in electing those who make the decisions. The EU parliament is democratically elected. If you don’t like what it is doing use your vote to change that, rather than turning your back on the decisions of your elected representatives.

      You may argue that the EU is not sufficiently democratic in that case use your vote to change that situation.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Well the MEP’s do not have any power anyway. Even if the UK elected 100% of them as UKIP it would make no odds they would still be a tiny minority in the EU. Even if the whole of the EU elected UKIP types they would still be virtually powerless. They are just a very expensive & fake veneer of fake democracy that is all.

        The Candidates are selected by the parties too – another barrier to the will of the voters.

      • yulwaymartyn
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        behind the frogs: absolutely correct.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      I see Greg Barker (Energy and Climate Change) was, for some reason, unable to attend to talk Green C*** with Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics today. Perhaps progress is finally being made.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        How about efficient light bulb technology is that progress or green crap? A simple question that even you should be able to answer. Are you going to check facts or feelings on this often tricky and advanced optical engineering for the masses?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          Some modern industrial and office lighting is indeed good and efficient and LED lighting and getting quite good too. But those irritating Compact fluorescent lamps that take time to warm up give horrible light and are usually too dim are very irritating.

          The lesson is do not role out new technology until it actually works efficiently, as they have done in spades with wind and PV and absurd subsidies.

          Halogen (most sun like) is the nicest light and the heat it gives off warms the room up anyway so is not wasted, in winter anyway.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

            Halogen is good, but removing the heat, longevity and running costs are a problem. Like incandescent.
            By your ‘logic’ however LED’s should not be on the market, as they as you say are getting quite good, but with the exception of one, the most expensive, do not equal Incandescent bulbs on quality and output of light with the claims for longevity being needing to be referred to trading standards.
            However the next generation of LED lights, 2x as efficient as fluorescents while meeting the criteria required for comfortable workplace lighting. The energy savings are mind boggling. Maybe they should have waited instead of experimenting on us with the current ones as car manufactures have done for over a century and still can’t get it right?

    • Bazman
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Have you ever Goggled Richard Lindzen lidogic? He says that that global warming is completely political. From a scientist? What does that tell you about him, He is a dubious scientist pushing a political agenda is the only answer. Most of your science is based on felling of art graduates and BBC types despite your protests such as Dingbat, who if he told you anything that defied science and fact you would believe. Lindzen? The same rules. You are propagandists hiding behind science.
      I’ll put it to you again and Lindzen. How can you be so sure that putting unlimited amounts of CO2 from fossil fuels will have no detrimental effects a benign effect at worst or be an improvement as by you own admission the climate is so complicated and cannot be predicted? Blind fatalistic religious belief. No artificial self sustaining eco system has ever been created by man that has lasted for any significant period of time and creating one by CO2 emissions does not seem wise. Is it ‘sensible’ and prudent to err on the side of action or for your head burying stance. Harrumph that one or give a sensible reply now I’ve politicised it too. Ram it.

      • oldtimer
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        Professor Lindzen is well qualified to comment – his career has been the study of atmospheric physics as a professor at MIT. So well qualified in fact that he was a lead author on the IPCC`s Third Assessment Report. The suggestion that the science is settled and that all scientists are in agreement on the CAGW hypothesis is wrong. There is disagreement as evidenced by the most recent Fifth Assessment Report. Indeed a House of Commons Select Committee is now investigating these very disagreements.

        It is their failure to demonstrate the link between man made CO2 and “global warming” that causes some scientists to rely on the precautionary principle to justify what they deem to be “action” – just in case in turns out that the CAGW hypothesis is true. This is the line put forward by successive Chief Government Scientists. It is what Cameron called an “insurance policy”.

        It is difficult to conceive a more useless insurance policy, because it produces more man made CO2 than the alternatives as is so clearly demonstrated in Germany as well as in the UK. It is sustained propaganda and spin that seeks to present what is justified on the basis of the precautionary principle as settled science.

        The reality is that man made CO2 is a very small element of the earth`s atmosphere. It is swamped by naturally occurring CO2. No one understands the dynamics of naturally occurring CO2. In the face of this ignorance no one has explained how they are able to calculate that the tiny proportion of man made CO2 is responsible for “half of observed global warming”.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        I have nothing against art graduates they can be quite entertaining in their place. I just would not want to fly on a plane designed by them, drive a car or bike designed by them or have the electricity generating system or house designed by them, nor a banking system, nor a legal/justice system nor a bridge designed by them.

        This as most simply do not understand maths, chaos theory, logic, risk reward, engineering, physics, economics, average bus/train occupancy statistics and their resultant net efficiency, the energy used in fueling cyclists with steak and chips nor indeed much else.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          This is the pants science you are talking about. The right demanding proof, but harrumphing any scientific proof that contradicts them.
          Cyclists fuelled by steak and chips? The are fuelled? Really are you fuel up now? You are. They would not eat steak and chips unless they ride a bike and they do not eat excessive calories anyway? I bet you do and then drive across London and cyclist produce more noxious fumes than diesel engines in a city environment? Even if they just drank vegetable oil which is similar to diesel they would be cleaner and much more efficient. Much more. However you spin it and obviously we live in the real world as we are not BBC lefty art graduate types are we?
          It’s obvious who is on the side on pseudo science except when it suits you. Have you worked out why trains are better powered by electricity in general yet? Cos’ if you have not we need a scientific answer as to why…?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      True but this is increasing difficult as more and more start think for themselves and look at the real science and to realise that the BBC and the schools have fed them drivel for years.

      Care to explain why the scientific evidence from the IPCC, NASA, and other scientific bodies supports the BBC, rather than your claims. Could it be because your claims aren’t backed by any scientific evidence?

      • Edward2
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Its group think, which has developed into a solid blind consensus in the scientific community.
        It,developed from the same wonky computer models used by just two or three world centres giving out the same figures from the same data inputted.
        We now see the predictions made just a decade or so ago have already not come true.
        No tipping point rapid rise in temperatures since 2000 as predicted
        No rapid rise of sea levels from 2000 as predicted
        No slow down of the Gulf Stream as predicted
        No loss of snow cover on several named mountains as predicted
        No loss of ice on named glaciers as predicted
        Several islands we were told would be submerged by now still stubbornly visible
        To say temperatures are still rising they have to now measure in tenths of a degree over a decade.
        Which is why the campaign has moved recently to desperately trying to link every bit of bad weather to global warming.
        Its all getting rather embarrassing.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        No it is because that is the current vogue, fashion and the state sector religion of the moment and they were appointed not to rock the boat.

        The phrase “Renewable Energy” is pure drivel in itself it has no basis in science whatsoever.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Your sconce is proving to be as credible as your employment law beliefs. Neither of which can be defended by you. How ‘absurd’.

  2. JoeSoap
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    You say your party wants renegotiation and a new relationship. Perhaps one of your Libdem colleagues summed it up quite nicely. Very occasionally they hit the nail on the head.

    Lib Dem MP Martin Horwood added: “The prime minister has an interest in creating paper unity in the Conservative Party over the question of a referendum, but it would of course be a political disaster for the Conservative Party if they actually got the referendum, because then they would be split absolutely down the middle.”

    It is difficult to believe that a party in which so little has been done by so few whilst in government will actually deliver on your new relationship. The only action which will get you re-elected as a party is to coalesce with a party which is serious about these matters.

  3. Douglas Carter
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Whilst I would appreciate that you have no doubts as to the providence of this document John, will you still be seeking to have its authenticity confirmed by the relevant administrative HoD?

  4. Bert Young
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Tell Lucy about Mr. Blunkett’s warning of civil unrest unless some sense is driven into our stance on uncontrolled immigration ; I mentioned this yesterday giving examples of how the French ignored EU dictat when dealing with Romas in Lyon and Paris ( I noticed you refrained from publishing it ! ) . If EU regulations are out of kilter with the state and wishes of our country , we must be prepared to implement our own controls .I think the rationale of the French was appropriate and I was not surprised that there was no follow up retribution from the EU . David Blunkett may have the disadvantage of being on the wrong side of the bench , but , his timely warning is something we should take note of and act on .

  5. alan jutson
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Hi Lucy

    Many thanks for the enclosed which I read with interest, unfortunately Dr Spendlove has recently departed.
    Perhaps you were unaware of such, but I am not surprised, given the time you and your co-workers spend with your heads buried in the EU rule book, often reading it by candlelight.

    Public opinion has now shifted away from all things EU, so a new policy is being evolved, where we have to think for ourselves.
    Yes I know it may be difficult for some, but do remember that it did happen many years ago before the EU was born, and produced so many cloned children.

    Having looked at your past record of achievements and contributions, I have come to the conclusion that you and your whole Department, is now unfit for purpose, and Surplus to requirements.

    Please accept this response as your letter of immediate termination,.
    Your P45 is enclosed, your expense account has been closed, your State credit card has been blocked, your driver has been found alternative duties, and your private health cover (for you and your family) has now ceased.

    Your termination package includes for one months salary in lieu of notice, and you are entitled only to the statutary government redundancy allowance, due to the fact that you have spent all of the money.

    I wish you the best of luck in trying to find another position, but would remind you that proffessional leeches are a dying breed, so I would strongly suggest that you consider one of our retraining courses, a number of which are now available Nationwide.

    Regards

    Proffessor Spendthrift.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      “professional leeches are a dying breed” well I am not sure about that they should be though.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Landlords are doing astonishingly well with housing benefits in particular the large ones who bought up all the council houses.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          Nothing wrong with Landlords they just provide property to people who wish to rent it.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

            Like pay day loan companies are just providing small loans to payday then one presumes?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      If she actually existed and she was sacked tomorrow then I’m sure the EU would find her some alternative employment by the end of the week.

  6. Acorn
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Dear Dame Lucy
    The coalition has caused a large increase in our workload. We have to prove a case for one part of the coalition, whilst, simultaneously having to disprove the same case for the other part. It is most stress inducing at all levels.

    For instance, the coalition is now averaging 4074 pieces of secondary legislation a year generated by 73 pieces of UK wide primary legislation! We thought it was getting ridiculous when the previous lot were averaging 2707 out of 57 pieces of UK primary!!! The coalition prefers Ministers to enact legislation outside of the HoC, hence the increase in SIs. There is scope Dame Lucy, for just electing the “executive” and making the HoC a sort of part time customer complaints forum. Considerable financial savings could then be transferred to the Civil Service budget IMHO.

    And Dame Lucy; all those Impact Assessments!!!! Again, we thought the other lot had gone bonkers when they wanted 491 in a year; this lot wanted 662 in 2011. If that happens again, I will have to increase staff considerably. I wouldn’t mind, but we didn’t have a need for these things before 2005. Ministers just don’t realise how difficult it is to find two SIs, that a department will give up for me to get rid of, so I can put one new one in.

    PS I think the gamblers lobby will be pleased with our efforts to get some “cash back” on the Gambling Act 2005. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2014/1/pdfs/ukia_20140001_en.pdf .

    Yours Roy

    Always absolutely open, transparent and independent. Never knowingly under represented hyperbole gone wild and politics by rhetorical excess.

  7. Henry Blenkinsop
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    To John Redwood
    I find this ‘Dame Lucy’ letter really frightening !! but at am a complete loss at what
    to do about it. It should have much wider coverage to enable people to see what is actually
    going on !!
    I hope you will follow up with more information and comments

    • Douglas Carter
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      …'[am at] a complete loss at what to do about it….

      Forward a copy to your local MP and the chairman of the local party from which that MP takes the whip.

      Forward a copy to the local chairmen of the main other parties which serve your constituency and request of them that notional candidates for their parties who might be presented as an option to your electorate might be awarded a copy of the document at the earliest opportunity.

      Request of your MP and the chairmen of the other two parties to comment on the most egregious aspects of the document and request of them that they would comment as to whether they approve or disapprove.

      Those who approve – advise them you will bear that in mind as to how you award your vote in 2015.

      Those who decline to comment you should vote against and advise them of such. If they cannot be relied upon to comment on the nature of the democracy you fund, then they have no mandate to secure your endorsement.

      Hope that helps.

  8. lifelogic
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I see that a report by Laurence Tomlinson an advisor to Vince Cable has suggested that RBS has been driving healthy companies into the ground.

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article1344412.ece?CMP=OTH-gnws-standard-2013_11_23

    Certainly that has been entirely my experience for the past five years of dealing with Natwest/RBS they have behaved (poorly? ed) with contempt even for sound solid customers. Forcing companies to refinance perfectly solid loans and charging (high?) fees and margins to those customers they could find to (pay up ), and even withdrawing from funding, part way through developments, investments or expansions.

    All this while the bank was under 70%? government ownership. They were perhaps the largest reason for the slowness of any recovery. The government shooting itself in the foot as per usually. The other banks have not been much better (named bank left out ed) There is still a huge shortage of finance for SME businesses at sensible rates.

    • Bazman
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      They have a business to run.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        Annoying good & profitable customers and pushing them to borrow/go elsewhere is not a good way to run a business.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          They run their businesses as they see fit.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Until there is a proper restructuring of banks with losses being recognized and a resolution regime which puts banks on the same footing as other companies this will continue. As long as banks have an effective state backstop, policed by artificial capital rules, there will be an incentive to manage the targets, bury losses and restrict the supply of new credit.

  9. stred
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Chillingly accurate. To use a recent mis-spelling, Who controls the (ex) boarders? Dame Lucy

  10. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Dear Dame Lucy,
    I know this is highly irregular but I have come across a copy of your memo to your deputy, Dr Roy Spendlove and feel compelled to inform you. I must first of all make it clear that I shall not under any circumstances disclose the name of the “leaker” or “whistleblower”.
    What struck me most about your memo was the overbearing influence of the EU on the UK government’s ability to apply its own policies in response to the needs and wishes of its electorate. Indeed at one stage, you refer Sir Roy to our ‘European partners’ when it seems by your use of the term ‘infraction proceedings’ they really are our masters.
    I am old enough to have voted in the 1975 referendum when the EU was called the European Community or Common Market. Mr Heath’s White Paper circulated to every household in the country in June 1971 promised, “there is no question of Britain losing essential sovereignty” by our joining the Common Market. Mr Heath also told us in a television broadcast in 1973 just after taking the UK into membersip of the Common Market: “there are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified”. This deceit was repeated at the time of the referendum and indeed there was no talk of the ‘European Project’ but much talk of a trading arrangement. To talk as you do about “theEuropean project which the British people chose in a referendum in 1975 and have endorsed in all subsequent General Elections by their votes” is, with respect, disingenuous.
    However, I do understand why you are so confident in reassuring Sir Roy, as you and I both know that the three main parties in Westminster are determined that we should remain subservient to the EU and will do all in their power to make this more secure, ably assisted by you and your colleagues.
    You will, of course, realise that the talk of renegotiation and a further referendum is no more than a ploy by part of the Coalition to stem the loss of its votes to the one political party that does want the UK to leave the EU. I hope I am not giving you too much of a lead in identifying my whistleblower if I tell you that he is fully signed up to supporting this, even though he claims to want to leave the EU and knows that his leader is fully committed to keeping us in. You will know that MPs put loyalty to their party before all else so I shouldn’t be surprised by their acquiescence and you can take comfort from it. I am sure you and your colleagues are very confident that you will be once again able to pull the wool over the voters’ eyes, should a future referendum ever be held, just as you did in 1975.

    Yours

    A Real Eurosceptic

  11. John Wrake
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Mr.Redwood,

    Your posts and replies to comments seem frequently to point to the necessity of members of Parliament doing and saying nothing outside the law. At first sight, that seems eminently proper and to be commended by all. But to which law are you referring?

    From what has happened and continues to happen, it is European Law to which you refer, because you contend that the British Parliament has agreed that European Law is superior, and so, when differences arise, the Westminster Parliament must give way.

    BUT, when our Parliament agreed the superiority of European Law, it was acting contrary to English Law and our historic Constitution.

    Our Constitution is not subject to Statute, so Acts of Parliament contrary to the Constitution are illegal and by definition, illegal acts cannot be lawful.

    A string of governments over the last one hundred years, led by treasonous, or careless, or ignorant Prime Ministers, have led the country into the present state where we have no control over anything pertaining to the health, security and welfare of our citizens.

    We need a return to the terms of our Constitution and that means a return to Common Law.

    John Wrake.

  12. william
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Dame Lucy is articulating the opportunity for some ‘clear blue water’,between the two parties in the coalition,as regards policies on EU free movement of labour, EU anti global warming and energy pricing. Cometh the hour,cometh the man?

  13. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    “The same is true of the open borders policy which the previous government embraced with enthusiasm.”

    A small error there, it should read:

    “The same is true of the open borders policy which previous governments embraced with enthusiasm since Heath signed us up to it in 1972, and which the present government still strongly supports despite mounting public opposition.”

    Reply The 1972 Treaty did not include EU control of borders. That came later.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      In the 1957 Treaty of Rome:

      http://www.eurotreaties.com/rometreaty.pdf

      “ARTICLE 3

      For the purposes set out in Article 2, the activities of the Community shall include, as provided in this Treaty and in accordance with the timetable set out therein …

      (c) the abolition, as between Member States, of obstacles to freedom of movement for persons, services and capital … ”

      “ARTICLE 8

      1. The common market shall be progressively established during a transitional period of twelve years …

      … 6. Nothing in the preceding paragraphs shall cause the transitional period to last more than fifteen years after the entry into force of this Treaty.”

      “ARTICLE 48

      1. Freedom of movement for workers shall be secured within the Community by the
      end of the transitional period at the latest.

      2. Such freedom of movement shall entail the abolition of any discrimination based
      on nationality between workers of the Member States as regards employment,
      remuneration and other conditions of work and employment.

      3. It shall entail the right … ”

      “ARTICLE 49

      As soon as this Treaty enters into force, the Council shall, acting on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the Economic and Social Committee, issue directives or make regulations setting out the measures required to bring about, by progressive stages, freedom of movement for workers, as defined in Article 48, in particular … ”

      So nobody should pretend that this didn’t start when Heath signed us up to that treaty, knowing full well where it would lead; and of course the Tory party still enthusiastically embraces that policy with all its ramifications.

      Reply Indeed, which is why I voted No in 1975. However, it did not include the free movement of benefit seekers.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    “Free movement rests at the heart of the European project which the British people chose in a referendum in 1975 … ”

    Another small error there, it should read:

    “Free movement rests at the heart of the European project to which the British people unwittingly gave their consent in a referendum in 1975 when they voted to stay in what was then described as a Common Market with eight other western European countries, albeit that no government has ever seen fit to ask them whether they agreed with the subsequent extension of that arrangement to nineteen other countries, starting with the crucial precedent of Greece in 1981 under Thatcher and continuing through to Croatia in 2013 under the present government.”

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      I am a bit sick and tired of this arguement that the British electorate have not been given a chance to vote on this issue. To quote from the Labour party manifesto of 1983:

      “on taking office we will open preliminary negotiations with the EEC member states to establish a timetable for withdrawal”

      Election result: 397 Tory Seats 209 Labour seats

      Did you vote Labour in 1983 Denis? I did.

      The truth is that for most people this is not the key issue. It comes well down the list of their priorities. The Tory manifestos of 2001 and 2005 were eurosceptic and resulted in Tory defeats.

      I read your posts when I have the time. They frequently include words such as “the enemy”, and “surrender”. I guess these words indicate how you feel. It would be interesting to see why you consider EU governments to be the enemy.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        Dame Lucy specifically referred to the British people making a choice in a referendum in 1975; I merely point out that the agreement to which they could be held to have consented in the 1975 referendum has since been radically altered, but without any government seeing fit to ask the British people to consent to those changes in a fresh referendum.

        In fact the agreement which is presently in force is so far distant from the agreement in force in 1975 that there is no way any reasonable person could claim that the popular consent extracted at that time still applies.

        • zorro
          Posted November 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

          ‘Free movement rests at the heart of the European project which the British people chose in a referendum in 1975 and have endorsed in all subsequent General Elections by their votes.’….

          I thought this statement was the best bit of sophistry in the letter…….endorsed by the British public….give me strength.

          zorro

          • yulwaymartyn
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

            They have endorsed it; that is the point. The British people since the referendum in 1975 have never voted for a party that will take them out of the EU. 1979. 1983 (see above-then they had the option). 1987. 1992. 1997. 2001. 2005. 2010

            8 elections. No vote to come out.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

            And the British people since the referendum in 1975 have never had the opportunity to vote on anything about the way that the EEC/EC/EU project has subsequently developed in another referendum, free from the general election clutter of which political party might be slightly less undesirable than another political party.

            No referendum ever on whether to give up vetoes which we had been assured the UK minister would have on every EU proposal for a new law or tax, no referendum on whether we wanted any of the nineteen additional countries to join.

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          So do you feel more strongly anti-EU because the people here in the UK have never voted in a referendum on this issue? I presume that this adds ire to your beliefs?

          If we have a referendum and the British people vote narrowly to stay in, say 53% to 47% – is this issue then settled in your view for another 40 years ?

          I am interested in what you think.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            Yes, I’m bloody outraged by it.

            Do you know why?

            Because it’s bloody outrageous.

            Clearly you do not recognise a gross breach of faith when you see it.

  15. con
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    At first I thought this was a Sunday morning wind up with a letter to Mr Spendlove.
    But no, it’s much worse than that. Lucy is deadly serious.
    We must not upset the EU. Not a word about minor matters like voters.
    And so we have the surrender of the UK, complete and unchangeable, according to Lucy.
    Funny, I don’t remember voting for Lucy – or Mr Spendlove.
    It’s like the Two Ronnies sketch about Miss Luvvit. LOL.
    I need a drink!

  16. oldtimer
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    How true. It is all stitched up. The UK is bound hand, foot and finger. Who will cut the Gordian knot that hold it all together?

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    “It is true now that one of the Coalition parties wants a renegotiation and a new relationship, but we must be clear.”

    Yet another error – I’m surprised Dame Lucy can be so sloppy – it should read:

    “It is true now that one of the Coalition parties says that it wants a renegotiation and a new relationship, but we must be clear that its purpose is only to placate the British people for potential electoral gain and it has no real intention to attempt to negotiate significantly different terms of our membership, even if it were to be elected and even if there was any possibility that such negotiations could be successful.”

  18. William Long
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I always think that one of the most apt proverbs is: ‘Many a true word spoken in jest’. It is a terrible comment on the mess we have got into with the so called EU that it is all too easy to imagine this letter actually being written and it does reflect the reality of where we are.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I think this leaked letter amply illustrates how the fiercely eurosceptic Cameron is being held back not only by the eurofanatic Liberal Democrats but also by an institutionally europhile civil service.

    What a pity that before the last general election the fiercely eurosceptic Cameron threw away a significant chunk of support through his abject surrender over the Lisbon Treaty on November 4th 2009.

    • zorro
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Fierce?……Cameron?…..surely mutually exclusive

      zorro

  20. ROJ
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    The attitude portrayed illustrates perfectly why senior civil servants, particularly Gus O’Donnell, were so keen to facilitate the formation of a coalition government, rather than serve a minority government. That would be the Gus O’Donnell, by the way, who thinks that civil servants should approve parliamentary candidates.

  21. Richard1
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    The modern EU appears to stand for: 1. The intra-EU customs union; 2. agricultural subsidies and protectionism under the CAP; 3. The anti-global warming high energy price policy; and 4. The various federalist interference mechanisms designed to force common policies, with the main instruments being the ECHR & and ECJ but the single European act now also distorted from its original purpose to this end.

    I’ve always been pro-EEC and, tentatively, pro-EU. Now I find that I only really support 1 above. The question is can we remain with the advantage of the customs union and dump the rest – could we do that within the EU through negotiation, or could we keep a customs union with the EU if we left?

    • Richard1
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      I should of course have added 5. the Euro, which I also don’t support!

  22. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Ugh!

  23. Martin Ryder
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Thank-you for sharing this sad letter with us; it rings very true. The question is: what can we do about it? There is absolutely no chance of change under the present leadership of any of the three main parties, including your own. UKIP is an outside hope but I wouldn’t put my money on it.

    A change of leadership in the Labour or Liberal parties will not cause a change of policy; they are ‘doff the cap to the foreigners’ parties. The only hope would be a change of leadership in the Conservative Party, early enough to ensure that Conservative candidates in 2015 truly reflect the wishes of the majority of the party members and the party’s rapidly dwindling supporters. Of course I have no idea what the wishes of the party’s members and supporters are. No one does, especially, it appears, the party leadership.

    My wish would be for independence from the EU Commission – a terrible example of power without responsibility; they make the laws but do not have to carry them out, pay for them or listen to the people affected by them. The Council of Ministers, and its off-shoots, is OK but not with QMV, where the takers can force the givers to give more. The parliament is a waste of space, unless national parliaments could send their MPs to sit in the chamber to discuss real international issues.

    I, an Englishman living in England, am in favour of Scotland remaining within the United Kingdom but accept that the Scots must not be forced to remain if a majority of them do not wish to. They do not have to ask the UK government’s permission, they can have their referendum and then leave. They are free people. The British are also free people and we have the right to hold a referendum on membership and follow the result, whether the Germans, the French or even the Americans do not like the decision. There is nothing that any of them could do about our decision other than to boycott us or to invade us. They will do neither of these things, despite Mr Glegg’s alarmist ideas.

    I was watching a TV programme about Hitler the other day; it was an appalling warning about the dangers of having too strong a government. I wouldn’t like us to go down that route but, at the same time, the lack of firm leadership, with a PR man rather than a statesman in charge, means that power in Britain rests with the unelected liberal establishment, like Lucy, rather than with our elected representatives. We are in a mess and there appears to be no one who can get us out of it.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      My wish would be for independence from the EU Commission – a terrible example of power without responsibility; they make the laws but do not have to carry them out, pay for them or listen to the people affected by them.

      The European Commission cannot make laws without the approval of the European parliament, which does listen to people who will be affected by them.

      The parliament is a waste of space, unless national parliaments could send their MPs to sit in the chamber to discuss real international issues.

      How would that be any better than allowing people to elected MEPs specifically to discuss EU issues?

      • Martin Ryder
        Posted November 24, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        It is clear from your other posts on this blog, which I always read, though rarely agree with, that you favour a large supranational government that governs according to socialist principles and is far distant from the people that it is supposed to serve. That is your view and you are entitled to it. I prefer small government that is as near as possible to the people.

        I consider that it is highly unlikely that MEPs, who are well paid by the EU government, scrutinise new legislation in the way that you suggest. Our MPs, who are much closer to our people than are the MEPs in Brussels, are not very good at scrutinising new legislature and usually follow their party leaders’ wishes. It is highly unlikely that MEPs are any different. Indeed I am sure that they are worse and seldom scrutinise the mass of legislation churned out by the Commission and rarely consult their constituents. Most legislation is, I am sure, passed through on the nod. The bureaucrats decide, not the politicians.

        As for the EU Parliament debating EU issues, I am sure that some MEPs do but it is pretty clear that most of them go native and are not looking at the issues on behalf of their nations but on behalf of the European governing classes. I would expect MPs from national parliaments to be more attuned to the wishes of their people than are MEPs.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          What an excellent post.
          Thank you Martin, my views are exactly the same.

      • yulwaymartyn
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        Uni – I entirely agree with your comments; I would only add that I think the European Parliament is becoming more respected especially if a candidate from it is chosen to replace Barroso in due course. The proposed ending of the Strasbourg campus will also help in my view.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      There is something that Conservative Eurosceptics can do:
      (1) Vote Conservative in 2015 so that our referendum is cast in stone; and
      (2) Depose David Cameron after the 2015 election if we think that the red lines in his negotiating stance are inadequate.

      The Conservative Party generally dislikes regicide. However, it is sometimes the least bad option. After the 2015 election, Conservative Eurosceptic MPs will bear a heavy responsibility.

  24. outsider
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood, Dame Lucy is right to ensure that her colleagues keep ministers within EU law. But Dame Lucy and Doctor Spendlove need to be reminded that their duty is to execute the will of ministers within the law and that where there is a will there is a way.
    The way is often through administration, most obviously in dealing with the “rights” of individuals. I am reminded that when I first applied for a passport it was necessary to obtain the signature of a magistrate, headmaster, police officer or similar named authority figure to confirm that I was bona fide. That was not always easy or quick.
    You may also recall that when the ECHR ruled that the winter fuel payment intended for pensioners had also to be paid to working men over 60, the government set up some quaint administrative hurdles to ensure that most did not claim, or succeed.
    Whitehall could also learn lessons from the way that the Scottish Administration managed to discriminate against English university students at Scottish universities within the law.
    I could go on an on but it seems pointless because there does not seem to be any will among ministers to find ways. As in sport, if you do not play the game and use the rules to your best advantage you will not win.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Correction:

      “Dame Lucy is right to ensure that her colleagues keep ministers within EU law unless Parliament legislates to the contrary”.

      Which Parliament could do, if necessary with the Commons using the Parliament Acts to by-pass the Lords, if only the British people would wake up and elect a majority of MPs who were prepared to do it.

  25. Antisthenes
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    “There is little sign that the rest of the EU wishes to alter these fundamental requirements of the amalgamated Treaties.”

    There lies the basic problem with the UK attempting to repatriate powers or renegotiate a different relationship with the EU. It astonishes me that David Cameron even suggests that he can on behalf of the UK if he sincerely believes that he can he is more deluded that I thought he was but if he knows that he cannot then it suggests he is following a strategy to delude others.

  26. Iain Gill
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Whats the point when we have Cameron in charge? a man who has been out in India promising work visas for all students and ever more uncapped ICT work visas?

    Is he really likely to want to control immigration properly?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      No, obviously not; it is self-evident that like his counterparts in the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties he is in favour of mass immigration from whatever quarters on whatever pretexts.

    • zorro
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      He wants the banks to get a foothold in India. Lots of lovely potential debt there….

      zorro

  27. uanime5
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I know consultancy and related budgets are tight, but I do have a contingency fund which we can use should need arise to ensure we have enough good legal advice on hand. I do not wish to see years of patient and careful diplomacy undermined by rash words and promises from Ministers not entirely in sympathy with our European approach.

    Good to see someone is advising ministers on how to make policies that are within the law.

    I am pleased to see colleagues in DECC are well aware of the need to stay within the requirements of the Large Plants Directive to retire older generating plant

    Well if they didn’t stay within these requirements they’d be breaking this law.

    but in the end it is Ministers’ duties to explain to the public that the EU anti global warming policy is important and does require rationing of energy use by price.

    How exactly does the EU’s policies involve rationing by price? Given that the EU is encouraging energy generation from green sources, rather than reducing energy usage, it’s clear that the EU isn’t promoting rationing.

    It is true now that one of the Coalition parties wants a renegotiation and a new relationship, but we must be clear. This is not Coalition policy and so the civil service must in no way assist with it.

    Good to see that civil servants are remaining neutral, rather than playing politics.

    • zorro
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes, Dame Lucy is very neutral…..LOL

      zorro

  28. Normandee
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    http://www.trendingcentral.com/iran-deal-eu-image-says/
    When you have done worrying about your petty urgency to get your useless party re elected there are more important things going on that override it. It’s not about Cameron and border control it’s about world peace, or are you going to scoff at that as well.

  29. zorro
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Ah yes God bless Dame Lucy, doesn’t she work for the National Trust yet?…..Anyway…

    ‘We should also of course seek to do as Ministers wish, but our first necessity is to ensure they and we remain within the rule of law…’

    Call me old fashioned, but after advising Ministers of options around policies, and of course warning of legal risks, the job of the SCS is to implement policy. Of course, it is important that civil servants give ministers the value of their valid experience where appropriate. I wonder about the nature of relationships which should be challenging to ensure that ministers do not walk into elephant traps.

    zorro

  30. TJS
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Martin Ryder for your well considered post.
    Thanks also to JR for having the guts to bring this to our attention.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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