Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-12-12-Speech-3-030-000"

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"Mr President, there is a certain sense of irony here this morning because this is of course the week when you were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, this great achievement. I thought the award bizarre, particularly as what we are discussing this morning is a new range of measures that will further pile on the agony for those southern euro zone states. Europe is now split from north to south, with increasing violence and enmity between the peoples of the north of Europe and the south of Europe, so I do not think the Peace Prize was really very appropriate. Not, of course, that that will pose you a problem tomorrow, because there are no leaders in those southern European countries who, frankly, have got the courage to stand up to the might of Brussels and challenge the euro zone project. However what you will have at tomorrow’s summit, yet again, is the curious case of Mr Cameron. On the one hand, he is a big ally. He resists having a referendum. He publicly states again and again that he wants Britain to remain a member of the European Union and, surprisingly, he has supported every one of your moves towards a fiscal union and banking union. Mr Verhofstadt indeed called Mr Cameron the greatest federalist outside the euro zone. Yet, on the other hand, he cannot go along with any of this because, politically, the financial transaction tax and the banking union are quite impossible in Britain. But every time there is a summit and the euro zone moves that little bit further forward, it leaves Britain — and Mr Cameron — even more marginalised. In fact it is barely worth him turning up tomorrow. The great debate in Britain has always been that the single market has been the victory of our membership of the Union, and that we have great influence over that single market. Well, increasingly we are going to be excluded from the key decisions that affect that single market. Given the hostility – and I am sorry to disappoint my Conservative friends here, but there is hostility towards Britain in this place now, where people blame their economic problems on our City of London — frankly, the argument that the single market benefits Britain and that we have any influence over it is now disappearing, and very shortly I think you will be glad to see the back of us."@en1

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