Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-02-20-Speech-3-020"

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"Mr President, the world awaits a European Union with a stronger capacity to act across the world stage. Inside the Union there are plenty of people who wish to see an end to the seemingly interminable quarrels about our system of government. Although I have enjoyed myself in the IGC and previously in the Convention, I think I can speak for us all in saying that we share the opinion that we should settle some of these quarrelsome problems for a substantial time. Certainly, I look forward to a time when we can focus on improving the quality of policy which flows out of Brussels and Strasbourg. That time will come when the Treaty of Lisbon is brought into force, because it successfully connects policy change with desirable and necessary reforms to powers, to instruments and to procedures. There are some – certainly in this Chamber – who would prefer to reject the Treaty and turn the clock back to Nice, and perhaps even further to 19th-century thinking. These people include, unfortunately, the British Conservative Party, which fails to proffer a shared European solution to the common problems that we all face as Europeans. I know that the United Kingdom is a strangely insular place, and it is true that even its Government is too frightened to face up to nationalists and xenophobes and has insisted on asserting self-defeating opt-outs from key areas of European unity, sometimes pushing Britain to the margins. Liberal Democrats regret that, and look forward to the time when the UK will find a more comfortable place within the stronger and more united democratic and efficient Union promised by this great Treaty."@en1

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