Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-01-13-Speech-2-369-000"

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"Mr President, first I would like to give my customary welcome to incoming President of the European Council. I can see why they chose you. You are perfect. You are like the euro record that has got stuck in a groove – a completely out-of-date view of what Europe is. Clearly you have learned absolutely nothing from the results of the European elections. As you know, in the United Kingdom, immigration is the key debate. It is dominating political discourse within our country. At the heart of that is the whole question of the free movement of peoples, but your debate is the other side of the same coin. Your debate is about immigration, and time and again, you have promised the Polish voters that young Poles would return to Poland. At the same time, Mr Cameron has promised the British people that fewer Poles would come to us. It turns out that you have both been wrong and that your country has been depopulated by two million people since you joined the European Union. The reason is obvious. It is money, is it not? You yourself prove the point. You are the newest Polish émigré, and you have gone from a salary of EUR 60 000 to a salary of EUR 300 000 a year. Congratulations: you have hit the EU jackpot. But you have also scored a great victory without trying, because last week Chancellor Merkel went to Downing Street. She spent a few hours with Mr Cameron, and Mr Cameron is now a big supporter of the free movement of people. He said: ‘Let me be clear, I support the freedom of movement’. So on that one you have won a great victory against Mr Cameron without having to lift a finger. But he also says that he will now restrict the benefits of EU migrants working in Britain. In the past you have been very clearly opposed to this. Please answer me today, Mr Tusk: is it right that children who live in Warsaw should qualify for child benefits if their parents are working in London? Please clarify that point for me today. In some ways you face quite a tough test, though not with the UK – our leaders are a soft touch. Despite the Lithuanian lemmings, you have got the euro crisis, a referendum on whether the UK stays a member and, of course, the appalling growth of attacks on Jewish people. I would put it to you, Mr Tusk, that the European elections showed us one thing: the voters in Europe want change. They want massive, wholesale reform, and I am entirely confident that you are not the man to provide that."@en1

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