Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2014-10-21-Speech-2-309-000"
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"Mr President. Well, Mr Barroso, for ten years we have been trading blows in this Parliament, and indeed I am the only person on today’s list of speakers who was involved ten years ago. I have found you – I have to say for the vast majority of that time – to be very civil, but often bemused by what I have had to say and by events in Europe as they have unfolded. In fact, I remember the first speech I gave. You presented your new Commission, and I pointed out to you that your nominee from France, Monsieur Jacques Barrot, was a convicted embezzler who had received a two-year suspended prison sentence and had been barred from public office. To my shock, at that moment you simply showed in your face that you had no idea that it was true, but of course it was. Perhaps that comes from your early days as an active student Maoist, when you believed in big ideas but did not perhaps have much to do with practical reality. I have enjoyed much of what you have said over the years. Indeed, I particularly enjoyed you the day after Ireland – the only country indeed that had a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty – had voted ‘no’ to Lisbon. You stood up and said that the Irish did not really mean ‘no’. I particularly enjoyed that. I also enjoyed you saying that the European Union was the first ever non-imperial empire, because in that you showed so much of what this project has now become. I do not think that anybody doubts that those who got together in the 1950s after two ruinous world wars with the genuine intention of getting the French and Germans to sit around a table in order to talk together and to trade together were doing the right thing. But it has morphed and changed into something else, and it is your analogy to an empire that has led to the current failure. It is the expansion to allow in more and more countries; it is the expansion of the eurozone to let in Mediterranean countries which should have never have joined in the first place and which are now suffering so horribly. So I view you as a fantasist, but at no point have I ever, ever implied that you were dishonest. You are not. You are very honest indeed. I remember you telling Martin Callanan, who led the Conservative Group here for some time while the Conservative Party under David Cameron’s leadership became more Eurosceptic with each British parliamentary by-election, not to try to be like UKIP because the voters will go for the real thing. And you were right. We won the European elections. But thank you for last Sunday, thank you for appearing on British television, thank you for confirming that the real fantasist is not you – it is David Cameron. The British Prime Minister who pretends that we can restrict free movement and remain members of the European Union. You made it clear that he was wrong and that he was deceiving the British people. You made it clear that you were the boss and not him, and for that I thank you and wish you a very happy retirement indeed."@en1
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