European Council and North Africa — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:12 pm on 7 February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Ryder of Wensum Lord Ryder of Wensum Conservative 8:12, 7 February 2011

My Lords, I refer to the energy section of the Statement. I hesitate to ask my noble friend this question in light of the fact that we have shared views on energy policy over many decades. The Prime Minister's Statement sets out that 5 million extra jobs will be created over the next nine years, by 2020, by virtue of this new energy policy. On what basis and by what calculation does the Prime Minister reach this figure, bearing in mind that even the communiqué issued by the European Council did not state how many extra jobs would be created? Can my noble friend also explain to me on what basis the Prime Minister has worked out that there will be a reduction in the pressure on household bills by virtue of the policy that he has set out this afternoon, bearing in mind that the European Council did not discuss the financial dimensions of this policy? Indeed, the European Council last weekend was not permitted to discuss the financial dimensions of this policy. Perhaps I can help him. There is a document, which was not tabled at the Council but is being circulated within the Commission, that shows that the cost of this policy over the next years is €1 trillion. I ask my noble friend: who is to pay the €1 trillion for the energy policy that the Prime Minister has set out today claiming that 5 million extra jobs will be created and that household bills for energy will go down?