Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-12-16-Speech-3-032-000"

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"Mr President, another European summit and yet another power grab ... It is funny, every single time a European Union policy fails, and that is pretty often, the demand is for more centralisation and ‘more Europe’. And by any measure, the EU’s common asylum policy – albeit given rocket boosters by Chancellor Merkel – has been a dramatic failure. Not only will millions continue to come, few of whom, of course, would qualify as genuine refugees, but it has become an open invitation to terrorism. So our solution is that the EU border agency and the EU maritime services should be given powers and the ability to declare over the Member States! Incredibly, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, is supporting this. Yet that is the same Prime Minister who is going to have a meeting with you tomorrow night to talk about our so-called renegotiation. I hope he fares better than last time. The last time he attempted this he got to speak at one o’clock in the morning, spoke for a total of seven minutes, in the middle of which the French President, Monsieur Hollande, got up and went out for a pee. So I hope they take him a bit more seriously this time, though I sense that nobody in this room is exactly quaking in their boots. After all, he has asked for almost nothing, and he is unlikely to even get that. However, I am sure we will be treated to the usual theatricals. A grave-faced Prime Minister will come back to Britain to say how tough the negotiations have been but that he will not give in, and there will be hints that, perhaps, the Prime Minister will even support Brexit if he does not get his way. I think we should take that about as seriously as when he banged the table and said he would not pay the GBP 1.75 billion surcharge 18 months ago, and then meekly obliged. In February the charade will come back: there will be a European summit and, on something minor and inconsequential, there will be a deal, and a referendum will happen in June 2016. Opposition to this project is growing right across the continent: 15% of the Hungarian population have now signed a petition against migrant quotas. We saw an extraordinary advance by the French National Front in the elections in France last week, but so far nobody has reached the tipping point. Well, the British referendum may be that moment, and the momentum is on our side. It is not just about getting back national democracy: it is about getting back national self-confidence. For those of us who believe in nation-state democracy, 2016 is a very bright dawn indeed."@en1

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