Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-446"

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"Madam President, I cannot support a Black Sea policy. It will consume vast amounts of money. My country is the EU’s second biggest paymaster, and our Government has just decided to reduce our EU rebate by a UKP 1 billion per annum. Initially, one of the thrusts of this policy will be to facilitate the supply of gas and oil to the West. Two years ago we saw Russia cut the supply of gas to Ukraine at Christmas time. They were just flexing their muscles, and once Russia has an even bigger share of Western energy supplies, who is to say they will not do this again – to all of us? Europe must become more self-sufficient in energy – not by useless wind power, nor by biofuels. When there is a world shortage of grain, it is madness to replace a fuel shortage with a food shortage. My Government has, almost too late in the day, announced a programme to build a new generation of nuclear power stations, hopefully catching up with France – that is, 70% of electricity by nuclear. We should and must do more and use the access power to produce hydrogen and develop the technology to use that in place of oil. If the EU really wants to make a difference, it should fund the building of nuclear power stations across the continent, to reduce our dependence on unstable regimes and overlong delivery lines. Then, and only then, would we have the money available to help the poorer regions around the Black Sea. Pumping money in now will only further delay the promised funding of the 10 new eastern EU members – a promise yet to be kept. Promises – in Britain we were promised a referendum on the European Constitution, Lisbon Treaty, call it what you will. In this Chamber, I now demand that the EU hold a referendum on the Treaty in all Member States, including the UK. Ask the people."@en1
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