Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2016-01-19-Speech-2-645-000"

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"Mr President, I am looking forward to Guy Verhofstadt, the Liberal Group leader, coming to the United Kingdom to take part in the Brexit debate. His passionate defence of a United States of Europe and a European army is, I know, sincerely held, and I am sure that the Liberal Democrats will be delighted. It has now been a month since the last European summit. I don’t know about a week being a long time in politics, but there has been a sea change in that month and I think that one event has woken people up to the folly of EU leaders: the Juncker common asylum plan, the Merkel call which led to a stampede. Those of us who have warned that unlimited numbers of people from different cultures without security checks would pose a threat to the cohesion of our societies were roundly abused for doing so. And then we came to New Year’s Eve: Munich, the main train station closed down because of a terrorist threat, the intelligence coming from Syria and Iraq. The very same train station that in September people had stood at holding up their placards: ‘Refugees Welcome’. That irony was not lost on me. But it is what happened in Cologne – where we saw the mob, up to a thousand young males in the street, sexually assaulting and harassing women – which is, I think in many ways, one of the most disgraceful public order events that we have seen in modern—day Europe. And yet there was an attempt by the police and the press to cover it all up, and even the suggestion from some German politicians that German young women should change their dress and their mode of behaviour in the street, which I thought was a total insult. There is even a name for these assaults in Egypt, because they have now become commonplace and part of everyday life. We ought to have the courage to send out a message to say these assaults must never be acceptable in any European town or city and we will do our damndest to make sure that it never happens again. When we go to the next European summit, where Mr Cameron is going to conclude his renegotiation, I have no doubt there will be a compromise on the fairly minor issue of migrant benefits and I have no doubt that he will come back from that summit with a few promissory notes for the future about Britain’s relationship. But what he is not going to be talking about is our ability to get back control of our borders, and the British people know that those young men in Cologne, in a few years’ time, will have EU passports and be free to come to Britain. To give you an idea of how big the sea change has been. Daily Telegraph commentator Allison Pearson, who had said she was undecided on Brexit because she did not have enough information, wrote this the other day: ʻAfter Cologne, the EU referendum is about nothing less than the safety and security of British women. We, the Euroclueless, need to woman up and vote for the right of our daughters and granddaughters to live as they choose and to smile in the street. No more Mrs Don’t Know – let’s get the hell out.’ I hope 2016 is our year of deliverance."@en1

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