David Lidington – 2018 Statement on Carillion

Below is the text of the statement made by David Lidington, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, in the House of Commons on 15 January 2018.

With permission, Mr Speaker, I wish to make a statement to update the House on the situation relating to Carillion Plc.

Today the directors of Carillion concluded that the company is insolvent and that it is going into liquidation. The court has appointed the official receiver as the liquidator. It is regrettable that Carillion has not been able to find suitable financing options with its lenders, and I am disappointed that the company has become insolvent as a result. It is, however, the failure of a private sector company and it is the company’s shareholders and lenders who will bear the brunt of the losses; taxpayers should not, and will not, bail out a private sector company for private sector losses or allow rewards for failure.

I fully understand that both members of the public and particularly employees of companies in the Carillion group will have concerns at this time, and the Government are doing everything possible to minimise any impact on employees. Let me be clear that all employees should continue to turn up to work confident in the knowledge that they will be paid for the public services they are providing. Additionally, in order to support staff—and in this instance this will apply to staff working for the private sector as well as for the public sector contracts of the Carillion group—we have established a helpline using Jobcentre Plus through its rapid response service.

The Government are also doing everything they can to minimise the impact on subcontractors and suppliers who, like employees, will continue to be paid through the official receiver. The action we have taken is designed to keep vital public services running, rather than to provide a bail-out on the failure of a commercial company. The role of the Government is to plan and prepare for the continuing delivery of public services that are dependent on these contracts, and that is what we have done.

The cause of Carillion’s financial difficulties is, for the most part, connected not with its Government contracts, but with other parts of its business. Private sector contracts account for more than 60% of the company’s revenue, and the vast majority of the problems the company has encountered come from these contracts rather than the public sector.

Our top priority is to safeguard the continuity of public services, and we have emphasised that to the official receiver. We are also laying a departmental minute today notifying the House of a contingent liability incurred by my Department in indemnifying the official receiver for his administrative and legal costs. The official receiver will now take over the running of services for a period following the insolvency of the company. The Government will support the official receiver to provide these public services until a suitable alternative is found, either through another contractor or through in-house provision. The court appointment of the official receiver will allow us to protect the uninterrupted delivery of public services—something that would not have been possible under a normal liquidation process.

The official receiver is also under a statutory duty to investigate the cause of failure of any company. He is under a duty to report any potential misconduct of the ​directors to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. My right hon. Friend has asked that the investigation look not only at the conduct of the directors at the point of the company’s insolvency but also at that of any previous directors, to determine whether their actions might have caused detriment to the company’s creditors. That includes detriment to any employees who are owed money. The investigation will also consider whether any action by directors has caused detriment to the pension schemes.

Carillion delivered a range of public services across a number of sectors, including health, education, justice, defence and transport, and in most cases the contracts have been running successfully. We have been monitoring Carillion closely since its first profit warning in July 2017, and since then we have planned extensively in case the current situation should arise. We have robust and deliverable contingency plans in place. These are being implemented immediately to minimise any disruption and to protect the integrity of public service delivery. Other public bodies have been preparing contingency plans for the contracts for which they are responsible. The majority of the small number of contracts awarded after the company’s July profit warning were joint ventures, in which the other companies are now contractually bound to take on Carillion’s share of the work. For example, the Kier group, one of the joint venture partners for HS2, confirmed this morning in a release to the stock exchange that it had now put in place its contingency plans for such an eventuality.

I recognise that this is also a difficult time for pension holders. The Pensions Advisory Service has set up a dedicated helpline number for staff and pensioners who have concerns about their pensions. Those who are already receiving their pensions will continue to receive payment from the various pension funds, including the Pension Protection Fund. For those people who have started an apprenticeship programme with Carillion, the Construction Industry Training Board has set up a taskforce to assist apprentices to seek new employment, while also working with the Education and Skills Funding Agency to find new training placements. The official receiver will be in contact with all apprentices. Companies and individuals in the supply chain working on public sector contracts have been asked to operate as usual. Normally, in the event of a company going into liquidation, the smaller firms working for it move across to the new contractor when it takes on the work.

The private sector plays an important and necessary role in delivering Government services—something recognised by this and previous Governments of all political parties. Currently, 700 private finance initiative and private finance 2 contracts reflecting capital investment of up to approximately £60 billion are being delivered successfully, and we also have a number of service provision contracts being delivered successfully by a range of companies. Such contracts allow us to leverage the expertise of specialist providers and to deliver value for money for taxpayers. I would like to reassure the House that we are doing all we can to ensure the continuity of the public services provided by Carillion and to support an orderly liquidation of the company.

I shall write to all right hon. and hon. Members today to summarise the situation and to inform colleagues of a helpline for the use of Members and their staff to provide answers in the fastest possible time to any ​constituency problems that may arise. Along with other ministerial colleagues, I shall keep the House updated on developments as the official receiver starts to go about his work. I commend this statement to the House.

David Lidington – 2017 Speech at Launch of TheCityUK Legal Services

Below is the text of the speech made by David Lidington, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, on 23 November 2017.

It’s a pleasure to be here today at the launch of TheCityUK’s Legal Services report for 2017, and can I add my thanks also James to you and Herbert Smith Freehills for hosting this event.

Every year, your report holds a mirror up to our legal services sector. In doing so, it allows us to reflect upon the strengths and successes of this country’s formidable and world-leading legal services.

This year I think the findings of the report should serve as a source of great pride and satisfaction for those who work in our legal services. It is also an important reminder to all of us, of the enormous contribution legal services make – not just to London, but to all the nations and regions of the United Kingdom – and I welcome in particular the focus of the report on the wider contribution the sector makes to the country. It’s particularly apposite given that the new Lord Mayor in his speech to the Guildhall last week part of his role should be to promote the City.

We can look at the contribution of the sector in a number of ways:

– to jobs: legal services employ over 300,000 people across the country, two thirds of these outside London. James mentioned Belfast but he could just as readily have mentioned Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool.

– to the economy: directly contributing around £24 billion last year with a trade surplus of £4 billion, and more broadly, underpinning the wider business and financial sectors.

– but I don’t think either we should neglect what I would term the contribution to the UK’s soft power, our global reputation: our legal services market is one of the top, most admired and respected anywhere in the world.

Legal services and EU exit

Now for the government, we are committed to protecting and promoting the legal services sector – the benefits that its energy and vibrancy bring to the economy and the country.

The report rightly raises the potential impact of EU exit on our legal services. I understand there is a real appetite from the sector for the government to make more announcements about where we are in the negotiations. I get that from your clients’ perspective, one of the biggest deciding factors on whether to use English law to govern their contracts is the enforceability of decisions.

I’ll say now what I said when I spoke at TheCityUK Advisory Council earlier this month, the government is committed to securing continuity and certainty for business as part of the exit negotiations. And that includes taking seriously, and giving a high priority to securing, market access for the legal services sector, and ensuring we have ongoing civil judicial co-operation after we leave the European Union – something that I believe is profoundly in the interests of families and individuals in this country but to the corporate sector and tens of thousands of families in the EU too.

I recognise that, as in any negotiation, there is uncertainty about the precise outcome that will be secured, but I want to reiterate the government’s commitment to ensuring that we have an outcome that protects and promotes our legal services. In particular, that means seeking an outcome that replicates the existing principles with the European Union, for example by incorporating the Rome I and Rome II regulations into domestic law and by continuing our participation in the Hague and Lugano conventions.

And I am highlighting to my counterparts across the EU27 – and shall do so again at the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in early December – how vital this is for individuals, families and businesses across Europe.

Legal services are built on firm foundations

As we go through these negotiations, we should not lose sight of the fact that our legal services in the United Kingdom are built on strong and deep foundations. They are underpinned by a strong commitment to the Rule of Law, by the certainty and clarity of Common Law in England that has evolved over centuries and by an independent, impartial and incorruptible judiciary that is recognised and respected across the world. These strengths make the United Kingdom a hugely attractive destination for litigants and legal service providers alike, now and in the future.

‘Legal Services are GREAT’

But in a globally competitive marketplace, where I’m all too conscious that other countries and other jurisdictions are contending for legal business, we must ensure that the United Kingdom’s legal heritage, expertise, innovation and prowess in legal services and the benefits of having disputes settled here is plain for potential clients to see.

That is why, in October, we launched our international ‘Legal Services are GREAT’ campaign. Now the ‘GREAT’ campaign has an interesting history. It was devised by David Cameron to take advantage of the spotlight on this country as a result of the Olympics and Paralympics being held here. It will showcase the expertise of our legal services, the integrity and experience of our judiciary and the benefits of using English Common Law to a global audience that will help us build stronger links with both established but also emerging markets.

The message of the campaign is simple: the United Kingdom is home to the best legal services in the world. Whether that’s London as a global centre for dispute resolution, or Scotland and Northern Ireland as world-leading centres in their own specific areas of distinct legal expertise.

As the 2017 report makes clear, technology and innovation in legal services will be key to ensuring the United Kingdom stands out. That’s why the government, building on the success seen in the Fintech sector, is ensuring that new and innovative legal technologies are embraced and supported. These have the potential to drive down costs, improve quality and fundamentally transform how services are used.

One such example is smart contracts, which are expected to increase trust and certainty, and reduce friction in the performance of business and other contractual agreements. Smart contracts will have a profound impact on the delivery of legal services and the government is exploring how we can use these new technologies to ensure that English law and UK courts remain a competitive choice worldwide.

The data and insights that are included within TheCityUK’s legal services reports are vital tools in our promotion of these messages and in determining our global standing and I’d like to thank TheCityUK for all of the work that has gone into this year’s report.

UK legal services and future trade

The ‘Legal Services are GREAT’ campaign is an important part of our global message about the incredible assets and services that the United Kingdom offers. It’s a message, too, about our future trading ambitions. It’s about ensuring our legal services can both take advantage of and support our future trade arrangements beyond EU exit.

The government is taking a significant step in preparing to leave the European Union by making arrangements for our future independent trade policy, and legislation will be introduced and debated in Parliament in the next 12 months to ensure the necessary statutory underpinning of that trade policy.

Trade is a key driver of growth and prosperity. International trade is linked to many jobs; it leads to higher wages and contributes to a growing economy.

That’s why we are committed to ensuring that our world-class legal services serve as catalyst for future trade, and that the crucial role they play in underpinning the growth of wider business is maintained and understood.

Conclusion

So I welcome TheCityUK’s work on this with its own vision for a transformed, world-leading legal services industry.

That vision sees the United Kingdom continuing to offer a clear and consistent system of law, with a sector that is highly digitalised and innovative….one where London continues to be an international hub for finance and legal services, but where there are also regional centres that serve as specialist hubs.

I have no doubt that the strong and deep foundations on which our legal services are built, combined with the innovation and vision within the sector to embrace new opportunities and new technologies, mean that we will see our legal services not just lead the world, but continue to be the envy of the world. Thank you very much.

David Lidington – 2017 Speech on Parole Board 50th Anniversary

Below is the text of the speech made by David Lidington, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, on 6 November 2017.

I think that the Butler Trust has marshalled a star-studded turnout. It’s right that after 50 years we should show our appreciation of the Board’s important work and its strong and inspiring leadership. I want to congratulate both Nick Hardwick and Martin Jones for getting this vital body into good shape as it enters its sixth decade. I think that the Board today is energetic, it’s faster-moving, it’s toned and conditioned. If you like, it’s following the regime that a doctor would wish every fifty year old would undertake.

Now before I go any further, I know you heard this morning from Mark Johnson about his experience of prisons and probation. And I wanted to start by sharing with you the thoughts of a ‘lifer’ who was talking about the impact on him of a Parole Board oral hearing.

He said this, he said: ‘I think it’s important that every lifer be given the opportunity to speak to the people that make decisions on their life… A bit of paper is flat and emotionless and expressionless. It’s open to interpretation and anyone can read what’s said, but when I’m here and I’m talking and I’m responding to what you’re saying and if you have any doubt you can question me on that doubt – that is the benefit. ‘

It also…made me feel a lot better about me, that at least I’ve gone in there and I’ve put my point of view across…And these people now have something more to contend with than a dead bit of paper…it was satisfying in that respect.’

Now, as is the case with all ‘lifers’, this man had no chance of being freed until the Parole Board had assessed the risk that he posed to the public. The Board’s work is pivotal to the future of offenders and to the wider criminal justice system. It supports the government’s priorities to protect the public and prevent there being more victims, while supporting prison reform by encouraging offenders to turn over a new leaf in the hope of a move to open conditions or release.

And the Board has made great strides of late, listing more cases each month and bringing down the backlog faster than predicted. I also welcome in particular the additional focus on IPP prisoners, five hundred and seventy-six of whom were released last year – that’s the highest annual figure since IPP sentences were introduced in 2005. HMPPS has been working closely with the Parole Board to help speed up progress, and it’s encouraging to see that release rate at 46 per cent, up from 28 per cent just five years ago.

Measured, meticulous, public-spirited

I suppose that if you wanted to characterise the work of the Parole Board it’s a reverse detective investigation, raking through evidence for clues to whether a crime will be committed in the future. And it’s little wonder the Board’s decisions come under public scrutiny. There is a tension inherent in every decision: balancing the need to be cautious with the need to be fair; protecting society while honouring the competing rights of offenders. Those rights are enshrined in the word ‘parole’, which of course comes from the French ‘parol’, or ‘word of honour’. In the 19th century it referred to a prisoner of war’s pledge not to take up arms again in the same conflict, once released. These days the Board has more to go on than just a prisoner’s statement that he will be good to his word.

Its judges, psychiatrists, psychologists, probation officers and independent members deliberate upon offenders’ behaviour, past and present, to look in to the future. They are not doing so as soothsayers peering at the entrails of a chicken, but with measured, meticulous and forensic care – while recognising at the same time that risk assessment can never by its very nature be an exact science … that there cannot be a crystal ball. When new members sign up, as more than one hundred public-spirited people did last year alone, it’s in the knowledge they will be called upon to make complex judgments that few of us are equipped for or would feel able to make. And for all that those Members do, for their humanity and courage, I salute them and thank them.

Remembering the early days

There are now around two hundred and seventy Parole Board members. At the beginning, in 1967, there were just seventeen. In those days they almost never saw an actual prisoner. They made paper-based recommendations for the most part. But change was coming. In a way, the Sixties marked the end of a more innocent era: the crimes that we remember from that time were high-profile and notorious. The Great Train Robbery. The ‘Moors Murderers’, the East End gangster twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray. The perpetrators of those crimes spent decades making multiple parole bids. Each was carefully and properly scrutinised.

To no one’s great surprise, successive applications were turned down.

Which are the factors likely to sway the Parole Board towards release? Well, they are factors that happen to chime with our reform goals – qualities that contribute to prisons becoming safer and more purposeful; more likely to support rehabilitation and cut reoffending. A co-operative attitude in custody, coupled with a realistic release plan that involves good support – including positive family contact. A willingness to take responsibility for the original crime, to accept the punishment and to move on. The completion of behaviour courses and health treatment, an appetite for the kind of training that leads to qualifications and work. Staying away from drugs, and not committing serious breaches of discipline.

Looking ahead, I see the Parole Board playing an ever-more important part in prison reform. It can help create capacity in the estate by ensuring that prisoners suitable for release are not marooned behind bars by delayed hearings (and I should say quickly that I’m conscious too that a smooth-running system depends equally on HMPPS playing its part in making sure that the Board has available to it, at the right time, appropriate evidence of an offender’s progress, and I am determined to make sure that we do our bit to enable the board to do its job more effectively and swiftly.

The Parole Board’s work can reassure offenders that good behaviour will be recognised, incentivising them for their part to embrace learning and training. It can encourage offenders, particularly IPP prisoners, that they can make progress, and not stay in custody for any longer than Parliament or the courts intended. I would add that as we go forward to the next 50 years, I would like to see the Parole Board’s membership more closely reflect today’s society – an argument I use also about the judiciary, which must hold up a mirror to the people who pass through our courts. And I know that both Nick and Martin share my own desire to increase in particular the number of black and other ethnic minority representatives on the Parole Board – that will help to ensure that it draws members from the widest possible pool of talent, and help maintain public confidence in the system.

The importance of working together

Now, while always respecting the judicial independence of the Parole Board, I see its relationship with the MOJ as one of close partners. Few would deny that both the prison and parole system face considerable challenges in the year ahead. Prisons absorb some of the most troubled people in society. There is still too much violence and self-harm in our jails. The abuse of new psychoactive substances has made many offenders more aggressive and prone to sudden mood swings. Growing gang violence in cities is spreading to wings and landings as the police and the courts find and sentence to custody those responsible for gang violence. And of course, reoffending remains stubbornly too high.

I don’t believe – even after just four months doing this job – that there is a single solution, no magic bullet to bring about an answer to those challenge, so that is why we are working on so many fronts. Beyond improving the performance of both prisons and probation services, we are co-operating more effectively with important bodies that have contact with offenders. And contact also with people who we recognise as likely to commit the kind of crime that typically leads to a spell in custody. The hope being, of course, that we can divert them before it’s too late. And to that end, we are collaborating with colleagues from the Departments of Health, and Work and Pensions, with NHS Trusts, employers, training providers and not least the many hundreds of invaluable third sector organisations and charities focused on offender reform.

And I believe we can do much more through that kind of partnership in the months and years ahead. We need a plan that tackles the problems of reoffending at source, recognising that many social problems, such as addictions, unemployment and homelessness, affect their lives long before offenders are ever sentenced. Let me share with you two other striking statistics: firstly, that less than one per cent of all requirements started under a community or suspended sentence order are Mental Health requirements.

This is a remarkably low figure and I think it’s important that both those of us charged with responsibilities for the criminal justice system and our colleagues with responsibilities for the NHS services and for mental health provision find ways in which to address this problem. The second statistic concerns reoffending and the salutary effects of drug or alcohol treatment programmes in the community. Recently published statistics show that offenders who undergo that kind of community-based drug and alcohol treatment programme are 33 per cent less likely to commit further crimes. We all need to learn from that experience.

A partnership for reform

In making prisons safer and calmer, the MOJ and HMPPS are well on the way to recruiting 2,500 more staff by the end of next year. That’s more than 10 per cent of the total number of prison officers, a significant increase, and they will make a difference. They will help to bring about the safer, calmer conditions in which reform can prosper, with prisoners more likely to be taken from their cells to be taught and trained. At the same time, our new offender management model – with one officer responsible for about six prisoners – takes us in the right direction and we must use every possible means to ensure that prisoners attend workshops and classes.

I am determined too to make sure that HMPPS gives prompt and public responses to issues identified by prison and probation inspectors so that recognised problems do not fester. I would urge everyone here to look out for our new online portal, the Justice Data Hub, where figures on purposeful activity and how long prisoners are spending in cells will be freely available, establishment by establishment. Making this information public is itself a discipline – it makes us more accountable, our work more transparent, and will, I hope, lead to swifter progress on prison performance.

The quality of probation services, and the level of confidence in the supervision of community sentences, also feed into effective offender management. There are many probation officers doing an incredibly professional job. At the same time, the inspectorate’s report on through-the-gate services made it clear that these are not performing in the way that we had hoped. We are now looking at probation with an eye to improving performance and maintaining the confidence of courts and the public alike.

Prison should be a last resort. That, after all, is what the law requires. People should go to prison because their crime is so serious that custody is the only punishment that can satisfy justice, or because they would be a threat to public safety if they were in the community. I want to see the prison population come down. Reducing the numbers in prison depends on many things, and not all of those come under the direct control of the MOJ. Parole Board decisions and the performance of probation; access to release on temporary licence; the availability and quality of community-based courses and health treatment all have a bearing. As, of course, do sentencing policy and practice.

If you look at the pattern of sentencing, the number of people placed in custody for 12 months or less has not changed significantly over the past decade – which rather weakens the argument we often hear that the high levels of the prison population is solely due to more people being sent to jail instead of being given community sentences. Rather, the surge in numbers stems from people serving four years or more, often for violent and drug-related crime, and also those sent to prison for sexual offences – many brought to book long after the event thanks to victims feeling brave enough to come forward. It is very difficult to argue that individuals who have committed that kind of offence deserve a shorter sentence.

IPP prisoners make up a relatively small part of the prison population but as everyone here knows, many remain in custody long beyond tariff. My feeling on IPP sentencing is that as a policy it was flawed from the start, and it was used far more frequently than was ever intended by the Government of that time and by Parliament.

We have a duty now to ensure that parole applicants receive their rightful hearings in a timely fashion, that the Board has the resources to carry out a full and proper evaluation, weighing up all the evidence at its disposal, and that offenders are released if they are judged no longer to be a risk to society. Those facing undue delays feel acutely the loss of hope and a growing frustration, and this leads them to harm themselves or others and for their conduct in custody in general to worsen. With IPP prisoners, as with all offenders, our goal should be to give them every chance of living a positive life after custody, because this contributes to a safer society overall. But it is right that the Parole Board, in judging individual cases, should always give priority to the protection of the public.

And that means that looking forward, the big challenge, the question we need to ask ourselves, is whether there is a way to carry on cutting the numbers of IPP prisoners in custody once what one might term the ‘easier’ cases have been dealt with and there remains to us a harder core of very challenging, complex and frankly very risky cases of people still inside prisons.

Conclusion

I want to finish with a brief history lesson. While we’re here to mark fifty years of the Parole Board, in penal terms parole has been around a lot longer. It dates to the 19th century, an era when governments were edging away from the corporal punishment approach in favour of a more enlightened vision of offender reform. It may be a stretch to take national credit for this, but one notable parole pioneer was Alexander Maconochie, the warden of a remote English penal colony on Norfolk Island, a dot in the South Pacific between Australia and New Zealand.

Norfolk Island was supposed to hold the ‘worst of the worst’ – convicts who’d been transported to Australia and then exiled even further away for committing yet more crimes. Its regular floggings and hangings were designed to deter convicts left on the mainland from any thoughts of rebellion. But Maconochie had a different vision and set about changing things. He developed a ‘mark’ system that rewarded good conduct, hard work and study by offenders – is this starting to sound familiar? Marks earned them privileges, and eventually their release.

You know what they all say about breaking the mould – that it’s better to be a fast-follower than a pioneer. Maconochie was fired in 1844. But he’d sown the seeds of change and the ideas with which he had experimented were taken up around the world – not least here, where they remain firmly rooted in our approach to criminal justice.

Although no human institution or system is perfect, I remain proud of our justice system – it’s always led the way and it is admired worldwide. The principles and values that run through it are a mark of the kind of country we are. And while we rightly give priority to public protection and we are not afraid of facing up to the need for punishment, we also place a great value on rehabilitation. The great majority of offenders, all but a handful, will one day return to the community. And it is in the interests of everybody in our society – not least potential victims of the future – that we use the time that we have offenders in custody and under supervision to minimise the chance that they will commit again and to add to the possibility that they can make that transition successfully into law-abiding life where they are actually contributing something positive to the wider society in which they live.

And it is thanks to our parole system that many do make that contribution and they are able to do so only when the Board is satisfied that the individual offender in front of that Board will not cause further risk to the public if released. That work, that exercise of sensitive and important judgements, is key to prison reform, key to safer communities and key to ensuring that our justice system will remain both effective and fair. I congratulate all who have served on the Parole Board, on what has been achieved over the first fifty years, and I am very confident that there are more successes and more productive work still to come. I look forward to working closely with Nick and other colleagues in taking that work forward in years to come.

David Lidington – 2017 Speech at Lord Mayor Elect Ceremony

Below is the text of the speech made by David Lidington, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, on 16 October 2017.

My Lord Mayor Elect, I am commanded by Her Majesty The Queen to convey Her Majesty’s express approval of the choice of the citizens of London in electing you to be Lord Mayor for the coming year.

It is a real pleasure for me to be able to welcome you, your family and other guests to the Palace of Westminster to convey to you this message, and to be the first to congratulate you on receiving Her Majesty’s approval.

Responding to Mr Recorder

May I also welcome you, Mr Recorder, and pay tribute to your invaluable contributions to our justice system. As a prosecutor, you were renowned for your brilliant and scathing cross-examination. As a modernising judge, you have championed many of the key causes of the judiciary – mentoring junior colleagues and promoting diversity across the legal profession. I admire and appreciate your efforts in this, as I do your work as trustee of a prison charity focusing on offender rehabilitation. Wearing my less ceremonial hat as Justice Secretary, I thank you for everything you do to cut reoffending, cut crime and protect our society.

The historic role of the Lord Mayor

Turning to my Lord Mayor Elect, you too hold a most vital role – that of Under-Shepherd to the Under-Shepherd of the Bowman family flock. My delight that you are here is only faintly tinged with disappointment that you did not, on the way to Westminster, showcase your skills by driving sheep across London Bridge – a historic perk for freemen of the City of London. Not to worry, however – you will spend much of the coming year steeped in history and tradition as the 690th head of the oldest continuous democratic commune in the world.

Laws and democracy were first introduced to London by the Romans, who founded the city on a square mile of former marshland. The Corporation of London traces its origins to Saxon civic arrangements, when bell ringers would summon citizens to St Paul’s Cross to debate and vote on pressing issues. In 1215, upon the sealing of Magna Carta, the then Mayor of London was one of only two designated guarantors charged with ensuring that the Crown did not renege on the deal to enshrine citizens’ rights and uphold the rule of law.

More than 800 years later, it is my particular duty as Lord Chancellor to respect and uphold the Rule of Law, as well as defend the independence of the judiciary. I will look to you, My Lord Mayor Elect, to help promote London and the City as an enduring worldwide leader of financial and legal services whose reputation is founded on the Rule of Law. You will help strengthen economic ties with other nations, identify new business opportunities and provide reassurance that the UK remains the Number One destination for foreign investment.

Pursuing post-Brexit opportunities

The City is the engine of Britain’s financial and legal sectors, driving the economic wellbeing of the nation. In a little more detail, the UK had a trade surplus in the financial and insurance services sector of over £60 billion last year – overall, it contributed £124 billion to the UK economy. Of this, London accounts for just over half of the total gross value added – in the Square Mile alone, some 380,000 people walk into work every day. For every one job created in the City, three more are created in the regions. Legal services are crucial to the City – indeed, are so closely linked with finance activities as to be interwoven: our strong financial services beget strong legal services, and vice versa. It means that legal services swell the nation’s coffers by around £25 billion pounds and contribute a trade surplus of just over £3 billion. These statistics tell an extraordinary story: that the body that you will lead, the City of London Corporation, is at once a local council and a global powerhouse. As we prepare to leave the European Union, it is ever more vital that we build upon its international success.

My Lord Mayor Elect, I bow to your undoubted expertise in building upon solid foundations. Somewhat unusually for a future audit partner at PwC who crunches FTSE100 balance sheets for breakfast, you read architecture at university. This explains why your heroes are not William Deloitte or John Pierpont Morgan, but Humphry Repton and Capability Brown. Since graduating, however, you have spent 32 years in accountancy. As such you are exceptionally well-placed to be a builder of a different kind – one who promotes the message of Global Britain, helping this country seek out – as it has throughout its history – abundant trading and business opportunities overseas.

Work on this is well underway. My colleague, Lord Keen, has just launched the government’s ‘Legal Services are GREAT’ campaign in Singapore. This aims to promote English Law and UK legal services, including London as the go-to centre for dispute resolution for international litigants. Our capital city offers the highest standard of legal professionals with unrivalled expertise and experience, and verdicts that stand up to keen scrutiny, handed down by our independent and impartial judiciary.

It is important that our legal services operate from courts that are fully equipped to deliver 21st century justice. I am delighted that the City of London is to replace all its courts – barring the Old Bailey, Mr Recorder – with a high-tech 18-strong courts complex in the heart of legal London, specialising in fraud, economic and cyber-crime. Perfect proof – if any were needed – that the City not only moves with the times, but remains well ahead of them. The City leads the world in fintech. It is only right that it also leads the world in dispute resolution and legal redress when fintech is abused – crucial for maintaining public trust.

Mayoral Mission: the trust agenda

My Lord Mayor Elect, you want the issue of public trust to be a key element of your Mayoralty – specifically, rebuilding relations between the City and the public following the financial crisis of 2008. It is clearly important that there is mutual trust between the public and businesses, and your programme will challenge City firms to connect with communities, operate responsibly and with integrity, and make a positive impact on society and the environment. This of course chimes with the best traditions of the City, stretching back centuries: as a local council, looking after the immediate needs of citizens; as a business hub, attracting the brightest and most innovative talents, and in general promoting knowledge, diversity and culture. Since medieval times, the great livery companies have been generous and enlightened patrons of charities and schools. I myself had the good fortune to attend Haberdashers’ Aske’s, founded in 1690 with a bequest from a wealthy Haberdasher, Robert Aske, to educate ‘Twenty poore Boyes, who shall be freemen’s Sonnes’.

At the end of your schooldays, My Lord Mayor Elect, you took a gap year. Some of your guests may not know that you sought to fund this year off by sketching buildings and selling the artwork – I admit I do not know how successful this money-making venture proved to be. No matter – what is of interest to us is not the revenues raised but your subject matter. Not just any buildings – these were some of the beautiful Wren churches dotted around the City between the Gherkins and Walkie-Talkies. This was familiar territory for you: your father, grandfather and great-grandfather all worked in the Square Mile, and it was perhaps your destiny to follow them. You remember as a child being whipped off to your father’s office in London to watch the Lord Mayor’s Show. That’s now your show.

Conclusion

Your Mayoralty will promote all that is impressive about the City: the talent, knowledge, expertise, opportunities and energy. I am greatly looking forward to working with you. Let’s get this show on the road.

David Lidington – 2017 Speech at Opening of the Legal Year

Below is the text of the speech made by David Lidington, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, on 2 October 2017.

The wheels of justice, they say, turn slowly.

Well, not this morning.

Between the Royal Courts of Justice, the Supreme Court and Westminster Abbey, we have dealt with a very full caseload – and it’s still only breakfast time.

As well as opening a new legal year, we have welcomed two exceptional leaders for the senior judiciary. A new Lord Chief Justice, Sir Ian Burnett, and a new President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale.

We must also say our farewells, to Lord Thomas and Lord Neuberger. They have served the justice system with distinction, dignity and energy.

We have many challenges ahead but I am confident that we have a judiciary eminently well equipped to deal with them. They are fearsomely experienced and rightly independent of the executive – but like all of us here they still need a good breakfast.

So will you please join me in raising a glass in a toast: To the future – and to the past.

And now, as Shakespeare recommended, let us:

“Do as adversaries in law – strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends”.

David Lidington – 2016 Statement on the Foreign Affairs Council

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Below is the text of the speech made by David Lidington, the Minister of State for Europe, in the House of Commons on 28 April 2016.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and I attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 18 April and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence attended the Foreign Affairs Council (Defence) on 19 April. The Foreign Affairs Council and Foreign Affairs Council (Defence) were both chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. The meetings were held in Luxembourg.

Foreign Affairs Council

A provisional report of the meeting and conclusions adopted can be found at: http://www.consilium.europa. eu/en/meetings/fac/2016/04/18-19/

Iran

Ms Mogherini briefed the Council on her recent visit to Iran. The context for this visit was the lifting of EU nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against Iran in the wake of Iran’s implementation of measures set out in the joint comprehensive plan of action. Ms Mogherini and a number of EU Commissioners who also participated in the visit explored the possibilities for future co-operation between the EU and Iran in a number of areas. In addition to areas for economic co-operation they also announced the intention to establish EU-Iran political and human rights dialogues. A joint statement by Ms Mogherini and the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, can be found at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-16-1441_en.htm

Colombia

The Colombian Government’s High Commissioner for Peace, Sergio Jaramillo Caro, briefed Ministers on the Colombian peace process, prompting a discussion on transitional justice. The risk of organised crime groups stepping into any power vacuum and the importance of a joined-up approach within the Colombian system was highlighted. The EU Commission confirmed continued support to the process through initiatives on local justice, education and demining. I offered strong support for the peace process, and underlined that we would be happy to share the UK experience of peace building. Mr Jaramillo confirmed that the Government of Colombia remained committed to a popular referendum on the agreement.

EU external migration

Ministers discussed the external aspects of the migration crisis, and the need for the European Union to maintain focus on both the Aegean and the central Mediterranean migration routes. The importance of full implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement on migration, concluded at the European Council on 17-18 March 2016, was noted; as was the ongoing work to tackle irregular migration from Africa to Europe, including through the action plan agreed at the Valletta summit on migration on 11-12 November 2015.

Lunch with UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Over lunch, Ministers exchanged views with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr Filippo Grandi, on global challenges posed by mass migration, and on implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement on migration.

Eastern Partnership

Ministers exchanged views on recent developments in the six Eastern Partnership countries and on preparations for the forthcoming EU-Eastern Partnership ministerial meeting on 23 May.

Topics discussed included reform programmes in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, and the work of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the OSCE Chair-in-Office to de-escalate the recent violent clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh.

EU Iraq/Syria/Daesh strategy

Ministers agreed to Ms Mogherini’s proposal to discuss counter-Daesh at the May Foreign Affairs Council and to agree Council conclusions. This would complement a planned discussion on Syria. In response to my call for a detailed assessment of progress, Ms Mogherini also agreed to task the EEAS and Commission to produce an assessment of implementation of the EU’s Syria/Iraq/Daesh strategy to help prepare for next month’s discussion.

Libya

The EU welcomed the arrival of the presidency Council in Tripoli on 30 March, and expressed its support for the Libyan political agreement which considers the Government of National Accord (GNA) as the sole legitimate Government in Libya. The EU reiterated that it has a package of immediate support totalling €100 million to the GNA, making clear that areas of support will be defined and prioritised in close co-ordination with the GNA and the UN. Council conclusions on Libya made reference to a possible civilian CSDP mission to support the Libyan security sector, and consideration of enhanced support that could be provided through EU Operation Sophia, for example through potential capacity building for the Libyan coastguard.

Ministers agreed without discussion a number of measures:

The Council approved the agenda of the 41st session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of states (ACP)—EU Council of Ministers, which will take place in Dakar (Senegal) on 28-29 April 2016.

The Council adopted a decision extending the mandate of Fernando Gentilini as the European Union special representative for the middle east peace process until 28 February 2017.

The Council adopted a decision extending the mandate of Peter Burian as the European Union special representative for central Asia until 28 February 2017.

The Council adopted a decision extending by 24 months, as of 31 January 2016, the validity of national permits for entry and stay granted by member states for the temporary reception of certain Palestinians.

The Council adopted a decision supplementing the statement of reasons for its restrictive measures against Bank Saderat Iran.
Foreign Affairs Council (Defence)

Countering hybrid threats

The Council adopted conclusions, welcoming the publication of the joint communication on countering hybrid threats, underlining the need to mobilise EU instruments to prevent and counter hybrid threats to the EU, its member states and partners, such as NATO. EU-NATO co-operation was highlighted as essential, with EU tools well placed to complement those of NATO to support member states and allies. Member states will reflect on the document further before considering next steps, including implementation.

Central African Republic

The Council adopted conclusions that approved the establishment of a new military training mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM RCA), to contribute to the country’s defence sector reform as led by the UN. The mission, based in Bangui has a mandate of two years. EUTM RCA will build on the work of the EU military advisory mission (EUMAM RCA), working towards a modernised, effective and democratically accountable Central African armed forces.

Capacity building in support of security and development

The Council discussed the EU’s efforts to find options for funding instruments for capacity building in support of security and development in order to enable partner countries and regional organisations to prevent and manage crises themselves. Defence Ministers noted that a public consultation was currently underway on the wider initiative. The European Commission also detailed progress towards a security sector reform framework, the adoption of which was anticipated in mid-2016.

EDA steering board

Defence Ministers also met in EDA steering board format. Ministers were updated on the implementation of key taskings and next steps, which included: the policy framework for defence co-operation; hybrid threats; preparatory action for common security and defence policy-related research; and the European Commission’s upcoming European defence action plan.

David Lidington – 2016 Comments Made at EU Foreign Affairs Council

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Below is the text of the speech made by David Lidington, the Minister of State for Europe, in Luxembourg on 18 April 2016.

There are 3 really important issues on today’s agenda.

First of all Daesh and combating the threat that it poses to the security of European citizens from every one of the member states, and we can take some comfort from the fact they have been pushed back, they have lost about 40% of their territory in Iraq and a considerable amount of territory in Syria. And the lesson of that is that we have to pursue the strategy to defeat Daesh with unity, with perseverance, and with determination and that will include ensuring that Russia sticks to what it has agreed to do under the aegis of the International Syria Support Group.

Secondly we will be talking about the issue of migration. It is of critical importance that the European Union’s deal with Turkey works and is implemented effectively and comprehensively. We are already seeing early signs that it is having benefits, that the numbers crossing the Aegean, that the number of people putting themselves in the hands of people smugglers and in great peril has diminished. But we cannot be complacent. There is more work to be done but I am looking forward to the discussion with the UN High Commission[er] on Refugees, to see what concerns, if any, they have and how they can be addressed. But the way I am coming to this discussion is recognising that Turkey is already generously providing a home for about three million refugees. And certainly in the view of the United Kingdom, Turkey is a safe country.

Third, later on today we will be moving on to talk about Libya together with Defence Minister colleagues. The formation of the GNA (Government of National Accord) in Libya is an important step forward and I think Ministers will want to take stock of what we could be doing to strengthen the GNA, to enable it to restore governance to Libyan territory. I think that will include some consideration of whether there should be a civilian CSDP mission. And we will also want to focus upon Operation Sophia and look for ways that can be made even more effective than it has been today.

I want to add a few words about what has been happening in London this morning. Today the Treasury has published a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the impact upon living standards in the United Kingdom of a withdrawal from the European Union. What that detailed, meticulous analysis confirms is that the verdict that has been reached independently by private sector organisations, by the Bank of England, by the International Monetary Fund and others. Which is, that for the UK to leave the EU, would mean a massive financial and economic risk for ordinary families in every part of the United Kingdom. Today’s publication confirms the Government’s view that the people of the United Kingdom will be safer, will be stronger, will be better off economically by continuing to remain full members of the European Union and that is why the government is campaigning strongly for a vote to remain in the EU at the forthcoming referendum. Thank you very much.

David Lidington – 2016 Statement on the European Union

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Below is the text of the speech made by David Lidington, the Minister for Europe, in the House of Commons on 2 February 2016.

At about 11.35 this morning, the President of the European Council, Mr Donald Tusk, published a set of draft texts about the United Kingdom’s renegotiation. He has now sent those to all European Union Governments for them to consider ahead of the February European Council. This is a complex and detailed set of documents, which right hon. and hon. Members will, understandably, wish to read and study in detail. With that in mind, and subject to your agreement, Mr Speaker, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will offer an oral statement tomorrow, following Prime Minister’s questions, to allow Members of the House to question him, having first had a chance to digest the detail of the papers that have been issued within the last hour.

The Government have been clear that the European Union needs to be reformed if it is to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The British people have very reasonable concerns about the UK’s membership of the European Union, and the Prime Minister is determined to address those. He believes that the reforms that Britain is seeking will benefit not just Britain, but the European Union as a whole. Therefore, our approach in Government has been one of reform, renegotiation and then a referendum. We are working together with other countries to discuss and agree reforms, many of which will benefit the entire European Union, before holding a referendum to ensure that the British people have the final and decisive say about our membership.

The House will recall that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made a statement after the December meeting of the European Council. At that meeting, leaders agreed to work together to find mutually satisfactory solutions in all the four areas at the European Council meeting on 18 and 19 February. My right hon. Friend’s meetings in Brussels on 29 January, and his dinner with President Tusk on 31 January, were steps in that negotiation process.

We are in the middle of a live negotiation and are now entering a particularly crucial phase. The Government have been clear throughout that they cannot provide a running commentary on the renegotiations. However, I am able to say that much progress has been made in recent days, and it appears that a deal is within sight. The publication of the texts by President Tusk this morning is another step in that process, but I would stress to the House that there is still a lot of work to be done.

If the texts tabled today are agreed by all member states, they will deliver significant reforms in each of the four areas of greatest concern to the British people: economic governance, competitiveness, sovereignty and immigration. On sovereignty, the texts show significant advances towards securing a United Kingdom carve-out from ever closer union.

On the relations between euro “ins” and “outs”, the documents offer steps towards significant safeguards for countries outside the eurozone as euro members integrate further. On competitiveness, we are seeing a greater commitment by the entire Union to completing the single market for trade and cutting job-destroying regulations on business.

On free movement, there are important ideas in President Tusk’s drafts on reducing the pull factor of our welfare system and on action to address the abuse of freedom of movement of persons.

We believe that real progress has been made, but I would stress that there is more work still to be done and more detail to be nailed down before we are able to say that a satisfactory deal has been secured.

David Lidington – 2016 Speech on the UK in a Reformed Europe

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Below is the text of the speech made by David Lidington, the Minister of State for Europe, at the Central Hall Conference Centre in London on 14 April 2016.

Tomorrow marks the start of the formal referendum campaign. In 10 weeks’ time the British public will take an historic decision.

I am convinced that remaining a member of a reformed European Union is in the economic, political and security interests of this country.

That does not mean I think the EU is perfect. Frankly, you can’t serve 6 years as Europe Minister and think that this is an organisation that does not need some further reforms. But neither are the alternatives perfect and as I’ll indicate later in my remarks, I think that those alternatives carry much greater risks for the prosperity and security of the United Kingdom.

If we look at the record we see that while we may not win every battle, though neither does any other country, the evidence shows that 9 times out of 10, the UK does manage to get its own way.

And the new settlement the Prime Minister secured in February represented a further success. I’m sure you will be familiar with what we achieved – boosting European competitiveness and cutting red tape, ensuring fairness between euro-ins and euro-outs, securing a UK carve out from ever closer union, and restricting access to our welfare system.

Looking at it a different way, that February agreement did something vitally strategically important. We persuaded all other members to accept the principle that one size does not fit all; that different countries, as the EU develops further, should have the right to choose different levels of integration, while all remaining part of the Union.

When I consider the way in which the debate has developed so far in this country; I think the thing I have found most dismaying about the leave campaigns is that the advocates of a UK exit display a dispiriting lack of confidence in the ability of the United Kingdom to lead or shape the future course of Europe; a paucity of ambition.

Yet if we look at the history of Europe in the 40 years since Britain joined, we can see how this country has contributed to – or, I would say, driven – the EU’s greatest achievements.

The creation of the single market has brought benefits of higher economic growth, greater inward investment, and lower prices for consumers.

It was made possible by a formidable, if somewhat unexpected, partnership between Margaret Thatcher and Jacques Delors. Mrs Thatcher as Prime Minister realised that striking down barriers to trade and opening up Europe as the home market for British business made sense, and was worth the downside of moving to majority voting on those matters, as long as there was a strong British voice present at the table making those rules.

Benefits have followed too from the enlargement of the European Union to the new democracies of Central Europe.

Now like the single market, this was not something that was bound, inevitably to take place. At the time it was a controversial policy. And both Margaret Thatcher and John Major fought successfully to persuade their fellow leaders that this was the right thing to do.

The measure of their achievement can be seen if we compare the 25 years since the Velvet Revolutions, with the fate of the infant democracies that emerged in Central Europe after the First World War.

The first time round, every one of those democracies fell – under pressure of home-grown extremism or invasion by one or more neighbours.

In this last quarter of a century, we have seen the democratic process take root and flourish.

The difference is that this time, the complex, detailed work of EU accession negotiations – with their multifarious chapters and benchmarks – provided a mechanism which we could use to embed the rule of law, democratic institutions and human rights in parts of our continent where those values and traditions had been crushed for most of the 20th century.

But these 2 achievements of the single market and the enlargement of democracies in Central Europe are of the past generation.

So what are the great economic and political challenges that face Europe – and which require British leadership – today? I will talk about 4.

None can be overcome by one country acting on their own – not us; not France; not Germany. And I look forward with optimism and determination to our country leading and shaping the European response to those common challenges.

The first challenge is economic.

Global competition and digital technology are now dramatically shaking up the ways in which we and other advanced economies do business.

Unless we raise our game in terms of competitiveness, the next generation of Europeans will not be able to afford the standard of living or the social protection or the public services that our peoples expect to enjoy as their entitlement today.

We need to give all British and European businesses, whether they sell goods or services, the advantages of a home market on a continental scale.

At the same time we need regulation that is proportionate to the problem it is designed to tackle – which is why the Commission’s acceptance of sectoral regulatory burden reduction targets, and the ability to review the existing acquis, that we secured in February are so important.

And we need to redouble efforts to remove the costs that harm growth and stifle the creation of new jobs.

We also need to harness the collective weight of Europe – 500 million people – to forge new trade agreements: with the US, Asia and Latin America.

That would give our businesses easier access to world markets, so they can seize the opportunity to sell our goods and services to hundreds of millions of new customers in the emerging economies.

Tackling the economic challenge must start with the single market.

I understand why people sometimes complain about EU regulations, and sometimes they have good reason to do so. But we should not forget that having one set of regulations governing trade across 28 countries and 500 million people, can simplify bureaucracy, strip out transaction costs and allow firms to do business across our continent with astonishing ease.

And if we consider the alternatives; even if EU regulations did not have the force of law here, they would in the other 27 member states places UK businesses will want to carry on selling to even in the event of exit. Which means that firms could face having to follow one set of rules to sell here and other to sell into the rest of Europe. Not a recipe for success or for keeping costs down.

Since its launch the single market has added an estimated £200 billion a year to the EU economy, in today’s prices. That means trade, investment and jobs.

And this is not benefiting big businesses alone, 80% of Federation of Small Businesses members who export do so into the EU.

Even those who don’t – even those who don’t export at all – benefit from access to the Single Market. It means a more competitive supply chain. And a wealthier domestic consumer.

At the most obvious level, the single market means exporting to the EU without paying tariffs.

Previously, trade with the EU was clunky, confusing and costly. You faced a bewildering array of tariffs, from 14% on cars to 32% on salt.

Today, there are no tariffs.

Would we get that deal outside of the EU? It frankly seems unlikely.

What is the alternative? It depends which advocate of exit you listen to. Norway maintains access to large parts of the single market. But they pay nearly as much as we do per head into the EU budget. They accept free movement. And they have no say in the rules they nevertheless have to adopt.

Some have pointed to the Canadian model. But the EU/Canada trade deal took 7 years to agree and is still not in force. And it contains a raft of exemptions to free trade demanded by one side or the other.

It works for Canada. But we are not in their position. We are much more entwined economically and geographically with our immediate neighbours in Europe.

If not Canada, perhaps we could fall back on our membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

But that would mean even more trade restrictions. Under the WTO ‘most favoured nation’ rules, we’d face tariffs of up to 10% on cars, 11% on clothes and 36% on dairy products.

Considerably worse than zero, that we currently have.

We all know that eliminating tariffs is not enough in a modern economy.

We must go further, and extend the benefits to trade in goods to other areas.

With four-fifths of the UK economy based on services, removing non-tariff barriers is essential.

As the Prime Minister has said, Britain is the country that “designs the building, consults on the deal and insures the premises”. I would add that we fly people to do the deal – EasyJet have said they simply wouldn’t exist without the EU – and then publicise it on social media afterwards – our tech sector is the biggest in the EU. The EU allows UK businesses to provide those vital services throughout Europe. And it allows individuals to work in any member state, with their professional qualifications recognised.

That is why the Prime Minister made this a focus of the UK’s renegotiation. And he achieved a clear commitment to continue deepening and liberalising the market in services, energy and digital.

Let’s look at trade.

The UK has always been the EU’s most vociferous and powerful champion of free trade in Europe. It’s an enormous British success story that the EU has signed trade deals with more than 50 countries – with more to come.

I well remember the Prime Minister intervening personally to get the South Korea deal over the line.

The EU has 9 more Free Trade Agreements on the way, including with Japan, India and America. Last year the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) estimated that when they are all completed, they will cover 88% of all UK trade.

If we left, each one of these would have to be renegotiated, bilaterally, one by one.

Of course, we could attempt to do this. But how long would it take? And would we really carry as much weight on our own as we would as one of 28, benefitting from the leverage in negotiations of the biggest market anywhere in the world? I think not.

Both the EU and Australia have signed deals with South Korea. The EU got a better deal: it eliminates tariffs nearly 4 times as quickly as the Australian deal.

So being part of the EU gets our business access to better terms for global trade.

Membership also gives the UK the opportunity to shape the rules that govern trade.

We are leading the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and US, the 2 of the most important markets in the world. When that deal is finalised, it will set the standards for trade across the world.

Where would you rather be in that transatlantic negotiation – standing on the sidelines hoping everyone gets to the right place? Asking our friends to tell us what has been going on inside the Council room in Brussels? Or at the forefront of the negotiation, pushing hard to get the best deal possible? I know where I would rather be and what outcome I believe is in the best interests of the people of this country.

The second challenge is one of security.

Some say we would be safer outside the EU. I simply do not agree.

The world faces serious challenge from the globalisation of crime; terrorism; drugs; sexual offences; people-trafficking. The list goes on.

These problems do not stop at national borders. Pulling up the drawbridge and hoping that things will be all right, as some wanting to leave the EU seem to want, is not realistic in the modern world.

Our security relies on co-operation and collaboration with our allies.

We already exercise control at the border. We can refuse entry or deport individuals where we believe that they pose a threat. Since 2010 we’ve refused access to 6,000 European Economic Area (EEA) nationals.

But in order to do all this work effectively, we need to act in concert with our neighbours. EU membership helps us exchange criminal records with other Member States. Leaving is not going to help us share the intelligence we need with our European allies. It would make it harder.

And thanks to the EU’s police and judicial cooperation, we can work effectively across borders to tackle crime and terrorism.

Some here will remember the bad old days of the so-called Costa del Crime. When you could spend months trying to bring British criminals back from the continent to face British justice. Extraditions that failed because of different systems, incompatible bureaucracies.

Those days are gone. And they are gone because of progress made at the European level. Before the European Arrest Warrant was introduced, extradition took a year on average. Now there is a maximum of 90 days, and the average is only 48 days – or just 16 days if the suspect surrenders.

So it is not surprising that the men and women actually on the front line today, in the police, in the intelligence agencies and in the military have emphasised the security offered by the European Union membership.

Rob Wainwright, the British director of Europol, called the EU “critical to the UK’s attempts to fight serious crime.”

Of course, we can and should go further and the Home Secretary is at the forefront of these efforts. We are leading Europe in tackling the movement of people and weapons linked to terrorism by pressing for increased information-sharing, stronger control on the movement of firearms and enhanced aviation security. We have now secured stricter deactivation standards for firearms across Europe and shaped the Passenger Name Records directive.

In a world fraught with risk, we need more cooperation, not less.

The third challenge is an aggressive and truculent Russia.

We have seen aggression in Ukraine, through the destabilisation of the Donbas, the aggression in Georgia and – in defiance of the Helsinki Final Acts and international law – the illegal annexation of Crimea. And only a few months ago an independent inquiry found what we have long thought: that the Russian state probably directed the cold-blooded murder of Alexander Litvinenko here in London.

Yes, in facing that challenge the role of NATO is key: meaning that the UK’s role of ensuring the EU is aligned with and supports and complements NATO is all the more important.

It is vital, as we face this major diplomatic and security challenge, to ensure that the relationship between Europe and the United States remains strong. And we have to do this at a time when it’s very apparent that the American public, and many American politicians, are becoming impatient with what they see as Europe free-riding upon American taxpayers in financing the provision of security. So the historic role of the United Kingdom in ensuring that Europe and the United States remain in lock step, that we support and build a still vibrant and relevant trans-Atlantic western alliance is more important today than any time since the end of the cold war. And the EU is essential when it comes to imposing tough economic sanctions on Russia; responding to Russia’s use of energy as a tool of political interference; in ensuring defence against potential cyber attack; and strengthening the rule of law in countries in Eastern Europe.

Here too the UK is playing a leading role in Europe – in keeping the EU focussed on the gravity of the challenge posed by Putin’s Russia, and in ensuring that the positions of the EU and the US are aligned.

Finally, the fourth challenge is the collapse of effective governance in parts of Africa and the Middle East.

This has created safe spaces for terrorist groups to plan strikes against us. And the chaos has led to a humanitarian disaster, driving people out of their homes and across borders.

It’s not the only cause of the migratory pressures Europe is facing. There are pressures that arise, from economic underperformance in countries in African and Asia where 60% of the population are under 30, pressures that I think are building from climate change in certain parts of the world. But those phenomena together add up to a picture of sustained migratory pressures on the European continent.

We see the results every day in Greece, in Macedonia and elsewhere.

We simply cannot turn our backs. These problems are not going to go away. Quitting the EU is going to do absolutely nothing to stem the pressures from migration. What our priority ought to be is to help build an effective European response to this challenge.

Working with and through the EU, as well as with other international partners, the UK can help direct a comprehensive approach to the crisis. Working with our friends and allies to bring diplomatic pressure to bear where necessary; to build capacity in the local police, armed forces and courts in those countries; to help countries in Africa and the Middle East to create greater political and economic stability; to use aid and trade to give people in those developing countries the hope of a decent life and fulfilment of ambition in their own country. So they don’t feel the need to get out.

The EU-Turkey agreement for the first time means we have a plan that – if properly implemented – breaks the business model of the people smugglers by ending the link between getting in a boat and settling in Europe.

And the initial signs are that the deal is having an effect. It’s still early days, but the average number of daily arrivals to Greece so far in April is almost half of that in March. Turkey accepted over 300 returnees from Greece last week. Turkey, Greece and the EU will need to maintain efforts to ensure quick and effective implementation of the deal, and of course more will need to be done with the newly established, but still quite fragile, Government of National Accord in Libya.

The UK is playing an active, and I would argue a leading, role. We are contributing £2.3 billion in humanitarian assistance to support Syrian refugees, and the London Conference galvanised others to increase their support. British experts are now working in Greece to support the EU-Turkey agreement, and we are considering how future UK support could be most effectively deployed. We are already cooperating closely with Turkey to support their generous hosting of nearly 3 million refugees, and improving the effectiveness of their migration management. We stand ready to do more.

Responding to this challenge is not going to be easy, there are no instant overnight solutions. But I think that British work within Europe in recent years, in Somalia and Mali in particular, show that when the EU brings its range of assets to bear on international problems, we can succeed.

Now some like to portray the EU as something ‘done to’ the UK. The truth is that we are a leading member of the EU, and responsible for some of its key successes. The record shows that – whether we’re talking about the economic, security or foreign policy– where we seek to lead, we are able to do so.

We have helped already to shape the current state of the European Union – one of the world’s most important economic and political entities – I would argue we have done as much as if not more than almost any other Member State.

And I look forward to the UK continuing to play a leading role, through the European Union, in helping to shaping the future of our continent in the interest of the people of every one of the EU Member states.

David Lidington – 2014 Speech on the European Union

Below is the text of the speech made by David Lidington, the Minister of State at the Foreign Office, in London on 8th May 2014.

Good afternoon. Guten tag. Grüß Gott!

I’d like to welcome you to an area of London with stronger links to Germany than you might imagine.

Over two hundred years ago, Pall Mall became the first public street in the world to be artificially lit with gas. And it was a German inventor we have to thank for that.

Frederick Albert Winsor, using old musket barrels for his piping, lit the way to St James’ Palace to celebrate the birthday of George III, who was then King of Great Britain and Ireland, but also King of Hanover.

Even today, the partnership between Germany and the UK, both titans in innovation, research and manufacturing, has remained one of the driving forces behind our continued prosperity.

This partnership matters not just in terms of our bilateral ties, but also because of our two countries’ leading positions within the European Union.

I have been asked here tonight to talk about British voters and how they see the EU, less than two weeks ahead of elections for the new European Parliament.

And it may be of interest to you that underlying sentiment about Europe has been changing in Britain.

Over a series of polls since March this year, more people said they wanted to stay in the European Union than to leave, reversing a pattern that had been in place for over four years.

I think that part of the reason has to be the crisis in Ukraine that jolted us into re-examining the big questions about what our Union is for.

As ten Member States celebrate ten years of EU membership, many have commented on the transformative changes in those countries’ economies. In Poland, for example, trade with the UK has trebled to £5.7 billion a year and incomes within the country have risen three-fold. A country that in 1989 had bare shop shelves and 500% inflation is now the sixth biggest economy in the EU.

For the UK, it was certainly the promise of trade that drew us in to the EEC in 1973.

But it’s about more than trade. When Chancellor Merkel came to London in February, she spoke movingly about her experiences 25 years ago.

Chancellor Merkel said that for her personally, as for millions of people behind the Iron Curtain, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 had been a moment of incredible happiness. And that she had learned first-hand: change – change for the better – was possible.

This “change for the better” is what people still look to the EU to achieve. In the wider world, and right now to Europe’s east, we are aware that it is not just Europe’s prosperity that attracts countries from outside. It is our shared values.

The rule of law. A commitment to democracy. Freedom as a guiding principle. Order. Decency.

These are values that we must protect.

I think this chimes well with the ethos and objectives of the Baden-Baden Entrepreneur Talks. They seek to prepare a future generation of business leaders not merely for their roles in business, but also for their roles in society.

Let me turn now to the situation in Ukraine.

Russia’s actions have cast a chill across the whole of Europe, and recalled a time which we had hoped we would not see again.

The people of Ukraine have lived together as a unified nation for the past 70 years. In a matter of weeks they will go to the polls to decide their future.

We believe it is very important that those elections are able to go ahead without disruption and without interference from outside and we hope that President Putin’s statement yesterday leads to a change of direction from the Russian side.

Up until this point Russia has done its utmost to disrupt this democratic process.

We have seen provocation after provocation aimed at undermining Ukraine’s peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

Over the weekend, German OSCE monitors and their colleagues were held by Russia’s proxies in Slovyansk – though, thankfully, they were later released. Journalists were detained and beaten, bodies found in rivers and a BBC journalist had to flee after having a gun put to her head.

It is an enormous shame that it has come to this. The UK, alongside partners in the European Union and across the Atlantic, has expended a great deal of effort over the past twenty years to create what we hoped was a positive working relationship with Russian leaders.

But Russia should be in no doubt that the international will is there to deepen the sanctions that are already hitting their economy hard if that is what we have to do. Some things are more important than pounds, Euros or dollars.

I have been struck by the unity shown by the West in dealing with the crisis. When the values that we share have been confronted, we have taken a long look at our priorities and at who our friends really are. In the long term, this makes us much stronger.

Over the next six months, there are two areas where I suggest we should focus this.

First, we should look very closely at energy security. How can we diminish the dependency of European Union Member States on Russian gas? And, equally, how can we do so while maintaining our strong record on tackling greenhouse emissions, while not burdening citizens in Member States with higher bills?

Second, we should seek to ensure that the European model remains a potent and a powerful force in the world. This means ensuring that we make the necessary reforms to bolster our economic effectiveness.

Our strength in the world relies on the strength of our economies, and we should never take this for granted.

This takes me back to the theme of the talk: what do British voters expect from the European Union?

Well, as businesses, it is always good to focus on the figures.

I mentioned at the start of this talk that in the UK, support for Europe had grown.

According to a YouGov poll, at the end of April, 40% of British people would stay in the EU if they were asked to vote now, as against 37% who would choose to leave. Those figures have been much the same in every YouGov poll since March.

Moreover, the same polls show if you reform Europe – making it more flexible, competitive and democratically accountable, then the number that would vote to stay in rises dramatically. Under that scenario, British voters by a margin of two to one would want to stay in.

Business associations are even more positive towards the EU.

In September, the Institute of Directors – based in this building – polled its members, and found that six out of ten would want to stay in an EU with improved terms of membership. So it is incorrect to say “Britain simply wants out”. That’s one myth.

There is a second myth that it is only the British who are dissatisfied with the European status quo.

Eurobarometer recently asked people in all 28 Member States whether they thought their voice counted in the EU.

In 26 out of 28 Member States, including Germany, a majority of people did not think their voice counted. In the UK, the number was 74%. And in nine other Member States, it was even greater.

There are other points of similarity. According to an Open Europe poll, seven out of ten Britons and six out of ten Germans think that national parliaments should be able to block proposed new EU laws.

The third myth is that people in the UK are obsessed with Europe. They’re not. Surveys frequently ask the British population what they think matters to them personally. As of February, Europe wasn’t even on the top ten.

What people do care about is not much of a surprise. The economy. Jobs. Pensions. Tax. Healthcare. Housing. Immigration.

You will notice that many of these issues are within the lead competence of Member States, not Brussels.

The United Kingdom’s position is therefore that the EU should change, and start concentrating on where it can best add value. Implementing policies at a European level which boost competitiveness, reduce regulatory burdens, improve the economy, generate new jobs, and in so doing, put more money into people’s pockets.

So what is the UK doing?

In January last year, the Prime Minister set out his vision for a reformed European Union, looking at what changes would benefit not just the UK but all Member States.

He talked about reforms which would make Europe more competitive, in a world where emerging economies are quickly catching up.

More flexible – getting rid of the old one-size-fits-all mentality and setting policies which take into account the diversity of 28 Member States.

More democratically accountable – recognising that the default answer towards solving the democratic deficit is not “more Europe”, but that a greater role for national parliaments and governments can help.

And what we see is a growing consensus among the Member States that yes, Europe does need to change; and yes, there is sense in the reforms we have proposed.

On competitiveness, the UK and Germany are allies. As Chancellor Merkel said: “The European Union must become stronger, more stable and more competitive than it is today.”

Seven EU leaders, including from the UK and Germany, alongside Commission President Barroso, got together last October to discuss how the EU can get rid of unnecessary regulation that burdens businesses and holds back growth and employment.

On flexibility, British Chancellor Osborne and German Finance Minister Schäuble have set out how the Eurozone can develop a common fiscal and economic policy – with corresponding improved governance, but without disadvantaging non-euro countries.

On democratic accountability, we agreed with the Dutch that where action is taken, it should be “Europe where necessary, national where possible”. Our very strong belief is that decisions should be taken close to the people they affect – as with the German Länder system. We’re not alone. For instance, Dutch Foreign Minister Timmermans has been vocal in articulating his support for national parliaments to have a red card through which they can stop EU legislation where it violates the subsidiarity principle.

We are already making progress. But much more needs to be done.

Though we are seeing tentative economic recovery in Europe, nobody can pretend that we are in great health.

We have a duty to lead the way in shaping the reformed and competitive Europe our citizens – and our businesses need.

The institutional changes taking place this year in Europe – elections in the European Parliament and a new College of Commissioners – give us the opportunity to start making those changes.

If you look at Europe through the eyes of businesspeople, some of the answers are obvious.

You need to keep down the overheads. Last year, the UK and Germany worked with partners to cut the EU’s budget for the first time. We need to be clinical in examining where we can reduce costs yet further.

You need to knock down barriers to growth. Member states stand to gain billions from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: in Germany, the Bertelsmann Foundation estimated last year 181,000 new German jobs could be expected, as well as a boost in per-capita income across the EU of 4.68 %. So let’s make it happen.

You need to seek new openings. The digital market is fragmented. Though 60% of EU internet users shop online, last year only 9% of Europeans did so across borders – surely this is an opportunity waiting to be seized. Meanwhile, full implementation of the Services Directive could add 2.6% to EU GDP – more than the GDP of Austria.

You need to tailor yourself to your market. This means having European-level regulation when you need it – not to set the working hours of junior doctors in Baden-Baden, or to stipulate the kind of jug a restaurant can use in Birmingham. Let’s be very clear on when it is suitable for Europe to act, and establish that where it isn’t, it won’t.

And you need to advertise your strengths. From July 2014, the reduced roaming charges for customers using their mobile phone in another EU country will represent savings of 90% on the 2007 prices. That’s a good example of the kind of cost-cutting, growth-enabling policy the EU is good for. So let us concentrate on more of those sorts of policies.

I know that in the United Kingdom, we have a very vocal debate on the European Union.

This is healthy. Recent events in Ukraine have made us all the more aware of our shared values…

… and all the more aware that these are values which need to be protected and strengthened.

The EU reform agenda is more relevant than ever.

And I am confident that Britain, Germany and our European partners will rise to the challenge, work together, and set in motion strategies for growth and prosperity which will benefit the whole of Europe.

Thank you very much.