Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2013-02-06-Speech-3-025-000"
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"Mr President, the highlight today of this debate was the Liberal leader, Mr Verhofstadt, comparing the seven-year EU economic plan with the Soviet Union’s five-year economic plan – and it was said without any sense of irony at all, which I thought was delicious. Well, as the leaders meet tomorrow to discuss this budget, what a curious position David Cameron finds himself in. He made the big speech; he talked about a referendum in the future, and yet he has been criticised at home for making us wait for perhaps up to five years before we can have our say. Most people doubt his Eurosceptic sincerity, indeed he emphasised in that speech how pro-European Union he is, and yet here today he is met with a sort of venomous attack as if he is some terrible wrecker. I would have thought his chances of renegotiating very much look pretty limited, so I feel a bit sorry for him. He is like piggy in the middle, and you all remember from childhood what a frustrating and difficult place that is to be. But he has made the speech, and we are going to have a proper debate in Britain about EU membership; but it is a debate that is changing. You see, the budget is not our top line issue. We pay in GBP 53 million a day. Whether that goes up to GBP 60 million or not, many of us are saying: why pay in a penny piece? Mr Barroso’s idea that a pound or a euro spent at European level is worth more than a pound or euro spent at national level – well, perhaps he has invented nuclear money, I have no idea. What perhaps we should recognise is that unemployment is actually being caused by Europe’s policies, in particular the mistaken euro project. The debate in Britain has changed and now it is about immigration. People in Britain are shocked at the change in every single city and market town since we opened the doors to eastern Europe in 2004. I have nothing against Bulgarians or Romanians, but it is unacceptable that we should open our doors to them unconditionally from 1 January next year. If Mr Cameron does not get a substantial renegotiation on the free movement of peoples then Britain will leave this Union."@en1
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