Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-149"

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"Madam President, Disraeli once replied to a delegation with the phrase ‘to the liberalism that they profess, I prefer the liberties we enjoy, to the rights of man, the rights of Englishmen’. Our national tradition of rights is not merely different from the European conception of universal entitlements; it is incompatible. We point to specific liberties, ones at specific moments guaranteed in specific charters, whether Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights or in simple statute acts; we do not put our faith in universalist human rights codes interpreted by judges for whom we cannot vote. I have to say, our tradition has had more success than that pursued by some of the continental states which have taken the universalist path. We have not fallen, as other countries have, either to revolution or to dictatorship. We believe that all rights are residual in the individual. As Aldous Huxley once put it, ‘liberties are not given, they are taken’. That is why I fundamentally oppose the incorporation of the EU Charter in the Lisbon Treaty without a referendum. The people must be consulted: !"@en1

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