New Forest East



Dr Julian Lewis: I think the Government are to be strongly commended for all the economic sanctions work they are doing, but how can that prove effective as long as Germany is pumping billions of euros into the Russian economy week in, week out for oil and gas?

[The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs (Elizabeth Truss): My right hon. Friend is right that it is absolutely crucial that we cut off Russian funding from hydrocarbons. That is currently accounting for a third of the Russian economy, so it is a target of the United Kingdom to get others to follow our lead. We are ending all imports of coal, oil and gas by the end of 2022, and we want to see a timetable for others to do the same. It will only be when we cut off that supply of money from hydrocarbons that Putin will no longer have the funding he needs to supply his war machine.]


Dr Lewis: I welcome the right hon. Gentleman’s generally consensual approach, but the fact is that if we entered into a new military or security relationship with Europe but without the United States, we would be fatally undermining the deterrent power of NATO. Putin would like nothing more. Will the right hon. Gentleman please be more careful in his recommendations? That is my advice.

[Mr David Lammy [The Shadow Foreign Secretary]: I am grateful for the remarks of the Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee. He is quite right that this is not in the absence of the United States; it is simply about underlining the fact that with France as the biggest defence ally within the European Union and with us, there is a key transatlantic relationship that the Europeans are talking about and that we have to be part of. We have to be in the room. I suspect that the right hon. Gentleman agrees with me on that point.]


Dr Lewis: Very much in the spirit of consensus, I will entirely concede the right hon. Gentleman’s point if he believes that the effect of our being part of that conversation would be to help stop Germany paying for Russia’s war effort, as unfortunately it is at the moment.

[Mr Lammy: The right hon. Gentleman has framed his point in a certain way, and I am reluctant to go down that path. When I went to Berlin with the shadow Defence Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey), it was very clear that – particularly because of the key relationship that Russia had had with East Berlin – the withdrawal to which all the Germans we met were committed must of necessity be faced. I think some of language and rhetoric we are hearing is unhelpful to our German partners in this endeavour. ...]

[For Julian's speech in this debate click here.]