In the previous post we again questioned what could be achieved through a public inquiry into the extent of flooding. We contend that such an inquiry would be a whitewash waiting to happen. It just needs an on-message Chairman appointed to move the roller.
We know this because we don’t have to look back far to see the results of the last flooding inquiry, that concering the floods in the summer of 2007, by Sir Michael Pitt. In the nearly 500 pages his report covers, EU directives are mentioned a mere 13 times, and not even in respect of causation.
The Water Framework Directive is not mentioned at all and the Habitats Directive gets one mention, in a ‘box out’ that explains dredging – in almost entirely negative terms!
The EU is mentioned a number of times, but almost exclusively in terms of funding and claiming money from the Solidarity Fund – which would have the effect of reducing the amount of rebate the UK would have for its EU contributions in the financial year.
Given that concerns about the impact of EU laws on flood protection were already at the fore in 2007, why on earth does anyone believe another inquiry or review into flooding now would produce a different outcome to Pitt?
What is Farage’s game? He can’t influence the terms of reference, witnesses or the Chairman of an inquiry, so what does he think will be achieved? The EU elephant will be in the room but everyone standing around it will continue to avert their eyes and pretend it isn’t there. The eventual outcome will just be held up as vindication of the existing approach and couched in purely domestic terms.