It was fascinating to give evidence to the Finance Committee of the Bundestag yesterday. As I have given evidence to House of Commons and House of Lords committees as well it was encouraging to note that in some ways we compare rather well.
We don’t charge those giving evidence for water, for a start.
As it happens this is part and parcel of the German virulence against any even seeming purchase of favours or influence. The German public sector simply does not offer, nor accept, anything at all. Say you’ve been trying to get a licence for something and you meet the bureaucrat in the pub later. Offer him a beer and they’ll actually get quite upset about your attempt to bribe them.
Perhaps we shouldn’t Remain with those quite so different from us?