Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-10-07-Speech-3-501-000"

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"Mr President, nobody in their right mind would not agree that it was a sensible thing to do, back in the 1950s, to get France and Germany together round the table to break bread with each other, to have a trade deal and to work as sovereign democratic nations together for peace. All of that was absolutely right and high-minded. Sadly, the whole thing has become corrupted. Tony Blair said that the EU today is no longer about peace, it is about power. How right he was, and how that power has shifted. When Kohl and Mitterrand came here representing their countries 25 years ago, it was a partnership of equals. But no longer. France is now severely diminished, trapped inside a currency from which, frankly, it cannot recover and the French voice in this relationship and in Europe is little more now, frankly, than a pipsqueak. It is an irony, is it not, that a project that was designed to contain German power has now given us a totally German-dominated Europe. Just look at the euro. Germany has a currency that is undervalued by 20% with a growing and massive trade surplus. Most growth in the German economy since the collapse of 2008 has indeed been in exports to other eurozone countries, such as your very big arms sales to countries like Greece, Chancellor Merkel. And when we have a general election that says a country like Greece wants to change direction, well I am sorry, but that now must be brushed aside because the Germans do not want it. In what must count as perhaps the worst piece of public policy seen in modern Europe for half a century, when you compounded the already failing and flawed EU common asylum policy by saying to the whole world ‘please come to Europe’ – and we saw, frankly, virtually a stampede, and we learn that 80% of those that are coming are not Syrian refugees – in fact what you have done is to open the door to young, male, economic migrants, many of whom, I have to say, behave in a rather aggressive manner, quite the opposite to what you would ever expect to see from any refugee. Yet when that failure is met by objections from countries like Hungary their opinions are crushed. This is not a Europe of peace. It is a Europe of division. It is a Europe of disharmony. It is a Europe that is a recipe for resentment. And yet, faced with all this failure, both of you, President Hollande and Chancellor Merkel, said the same thing today. You said Europe is not working so we must have more Europe: more of the same failing. Well, there is, I think, a bright star on the horizon. It is called the British referendum and, given that none of you want to concede Britain the ability to take back control of our own borders, a Brexit now looks more likely than at any point in modern time. I hope and pray that Britain voting to leave the European Union will be the beginning of the end of a project which, however noble its original intentions, has gone rotten."@en1

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