Responding to news that Foreign Office official Sir Simon McDonald has admitted the government’s failure to join an EU bulk-buying scheme was a ‘political’ decision, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael, has called the allegation “deeply concerning”. Despite government claims that the UK’s absence was due to a miscommunication, the FCO permanent undersecretary said: “It was a political decision. The UK mission (UKREP) briefed ministers about what was available, what was on offer and the decision is known.”
Mr Carmichael said:
“Sir Simon’s allegation is deeply concerning. If this was a political decision made by government ministers then the public deserve to know who made that decision and on what grounds.
“Ideological decision-making has real world consequences and we are seeing those consequences play out in this crisis. We may never know the damage that the government’s choice has caused but we do know now that it was a self-inflicted wound.”