Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2014-07-02-Speech-3-024-000"

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"Mr President, good morning, and what a privilege it is to address the three great Presidents of the European Union on behalf of my Group and on behalf of UKIP, which topped the poll in the United Kingdom. Having lost 26:2 in the last vote in the Council of Ministers, we are going to need to succeed with this. To end total free movement we are going to need the support of the European Parliament. Are you going to help Britain to end the free movement of peoples? I do not think so. Are we going to win 28-nil in the Council of Ministers? I do not think so. It is not going to happen. We are whistling in the wind and we are closer now to exit than ever. As for the rest of the EU, I suspect the next five years will bring endless misery for the southern Mediterranean eurozone countries. That is perhaps reflected in the number of Italians we now have in our Group. And what have we seen in the last 48 hours? We have seen naked militarism, with the EU flag being virtually goose-stepped around the yard, we have heard the European anthem and, actually, I can tell you that we, the Eurosceptics, are now the progressives. The two gentlemen we have just heard had nothing to say today. It was the usual dirge-like, dull looking-back to a model invented 50 years ago. We are the ones who want democracy, we are the ones who want nation states, we are the ones who want a global future for our countries, and do not want to be trapped inside this museum. Not, of course, that it happened only there: right across Europe, on the left, the centre and the right, there are now more Eurosceptics in this Parliament than have ever been seen before. So imagine my surprise, on 27 May – heading to the Conference of Presidents’ meeting in Brussels, where all the European leaders were sat in a room and I was not sure whether they would be nice or nasty to me, and whether they would accept that something fundamental had changed – when I found that, no, it was business as usual. Coming from the UK, we did not even realise that these elections were seen to be significant as far as the next Commission President was concerned. The Tories did not have a horse in the race; the British Labour Party disowned Martin Schulz; and, as for the Liberal Democrats – who, I am pleased to say, have collapsed to one Member – had you put old Verhofstadt on British television they would have lost the lot! So we were pretty unaware of what was going on. A victory for democracy? I am not sure. Who is the loser? Martin Schulz. He has become the President again of the European Parliament. It all looks like a bit of a stitch-up to me. Dave obviously misunderstood the mood. Not realising this, and after some initial encouragement from a few other Member States which he thought might block Mr Juncker, he then ran into the new golden rule of EU politics, which is that when Ms Merkel speaks the other Heads of State obey. And the support for us simply melted away. You would have thought it was time to apply the principle ‘When in a hole, stop digging’ – but no, Dave kept on digging away, and I must say as the final vote approached it began to feel a bit like the Eurovision song contest where it does not really matter how good the British entry is: such is the dislike of our country around much of Europe that we are always going to lose. I wonder what the prospects are now for renegotiation. Well, Mr Juncker has had a rough ride in the British press: we are told that he drinks cognac for breakfast (that is not in the UKIP manifesto, I promise you); we are told he is ‘Juncker the drunkard’; we are told he is a smoker. My God, isn’t that awful! Some have even said that he drinks endless cups of black coffee, which is why he looks so old. I cannot see him being in any mood to concede. To come back to Ms Merkel: she was quite clear, after the summit when Cameron challenged the principle of ever-closer union, and she very gracefully said that we are all allowed to move at different speeds towards ever-closer union, but we must continue in the same direction. We have a referendum coming up at some point in the not-too-distant future in Britain. There is one thing that would convince the British voters to vote to remain part of a European Union and that is a fundamental Treaty change that says we no longer have to accept untrammelled access for countless millions of people from across the whole of Europe. We need, and the British people – 80% of them – demand that we should get back control of our borders so that we can choose who comes to Britain."@en1

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