Growth and the Environment – the Simmons and Simmons debate


Yesterday I debate the motion


“Excessive and unnecessary environmental legislation and regulation is seriously damaging the UK’s economic gr0wth”

before an audience of environmental lawyers and others at Simmons and Simmons. I will put up a video of the exchanges when it arrives with me.


  1. Lifelogic
    March 21, 2014

    Well clearly it is hugely over the top and very highly damaging to UK economic growth. How could anyone disagree, there is surely not much to debate about that at all.

    Other that is for growth in the largely parasitic and artificial industries of environmental lawyers, bureaucrats, legislators, the EU, bat/bird/nature experts, tame government consultants/experts and the likes.

    These “industries” that seem to grow like malignant, blood sucking, leaches. Killing countless real & productive industries and jobs in the process. The same applies to the daft employment laws, absurd divorce laws, most of the ECHR and so much else in our legal system.

    Legal systems and interpretations of laws are largely organised for the benefit of the bureaucrats & lawyers by lawyers and bureaucrats. The interests of the public in justice, clarity, certainty, efficiency, speed, a fair balance of risk and reasonable costs rarely get any consideration at all.

    Good luck to you. Will you make this point or will you behave like a politician aware of his audience? The UK has about twelve time as many lawyers per head as Japan and is rapidly heading to the US level of 3 times the UKs.

    It is mad and hugely damaging, lets get then all a real job to do.

  2. APL
    March 21, 2014

    Don’t forget the environmental disaster in the Somerset Levels, caused largely by EU environmental regulations and political appointees to NGO & QUANGO top positions.

    1. Hope
      March 22, 2014

      It appears to me the EA is at fault for over zealous interpretation of EU directives. It is being proposed a new body is created in Somerset to prevent flooding and that a levy charged to pay for it. Why not cut the EA budget to pay for the body, this is no fault of the public. Is this another misleading example of Cameron saying one thing and acting in contrast?

      1. Lifelogic
        March 23, 2014

        Indeed the daft BBC/state sector, energy/environment religion continues to reek expensive havoc.

  3. margaret brandreth-j
    March 21, 2014

    Should be interesting. As long as you did not cause Simmonds V Simmonds.

  4. Timaction
    March 21, 2014

    …………..and where does most of the regulation and directives come from? Just like the dredging and waste directives and flaura and fauna over people that caused significant flooding in Somerset?…………………………………………………..the EU!!

  5. petermartin2001
    March 22, 2014

    I thought one of the rules of debating was that wording of the motion shouldn’t be loaded.

    Of course no-one can be in favour of “Excessive and unnecessary environmental legislation …”

    The motion should be “Environmental legislation and regulation is seriously damaging the UK’s economic gr0wth”

    I would suggest that areas which have suffered a high degree of environmental damage are less attractive to modern business than those where the environmental quality is good.

  6. Lindsay McDougall
    March 23, 2014

    Talking of the environment, why is nobody mentioning the contribution of net immigration to UK CO2 and other emissions. The principal demographic forecast of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is that 40+% of our population increase up to 2030 will arise from net immigration. Mrs May has not yet committed herself to exact numbers.

    This suggests that if we insisted on net immigration, we would go a long way towards solving our environmental problems.

    As things stand, our immigration policy is effectively determined by Italy and Malta. These countries are the first port of call for refugees and economic migrants, and it is these countries who decide whether or not to issue citizenship. Once someone has Italian or Maltese citizenship, he/she can travel and work anywhere in the EU.

    Are you happy with that, Mr Redwood? Or perhaps I should ask if you are sufficiently UNhappy with it.

    Reply I have made clear my opposition to EU control of our borders, and have been trying to get us a referendum!

    1. Lindsay McDougall
      March 23, 2014

      Sorry, the 2nd para should read ‘ZERO net immigration’.

  7. sjb
    March 28, 2014

    An audio recording of the debate is available at (link does not work ed)

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