Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2016-02-24-Speech-1-050-000"

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"Mr President, it is already rather exciting, isn’t it? It is referendum season and the referendum is coming – on 6 April in the Netherlands – where they are going to have a referendum on the Ukrainian deal, and the opinion polls show that they are going to reject it. And, just today, Mr Orbán has announced that there is going to be a referendum in Hungary on whether they should be forced to accept mandatory quotas for migrants after the grievous errors of the EU’s common asylum policy, not to mention Mrs Merkel’s pronouncements. And overnight we get a Czech Premier telling us that there is now demand building in the Czech Republic to have a referendum on membership. Oh, and I nearly forgot, there is going to be a British referendum on 23 June on whether we remain in or leave the European Union. This follows a 40—hour summit, where Mr Cameron, doing his modern day impression of Oliver Twist, went up to Mr Tusk and said, ‘Please sir, can I have some more concessions?’ Well, he didn’t get very much did he? We are allowed to change – ever so slightly – migrant benefits for a short period of time, and we are told that, in future, we will not be committed to ever closer union. And, on the basis of all that, we are going to have a referendum which the Prime Minister says is on a deal that is legally binding. Indeed Mr Tusk joined in with this today by saying the British deal was legally binding. To top that off, Mr Cameron has told us that he will lodge the deal – will lodge the documents – at the United Nations. But frankly, you might as well lodge an old pair of socks, because the fact of lodging a document there is completely meaningless – you could use a safety deposit box. But is this deal legally binding, Mr Tusk? Well, the ECJ itself said in 2008 that the obligations imposed by an international agreement cannot have the effect of prejudicing the constitutional principles of the EU Treaties, which means that the ECJ rules in favour of the existing Treaties until we get a new treaty. But who’s to say there is going to be a new treaty? Any new treaty would trigger yet more referendums and would not, I think, be favoured by the big Groups in this Parliament. But of course, we have an emergency brake. That has been judged to be a great success but, crucially, that happened through secondary legislation that can be voted on by this Parliament. So what happens? We have a referendum. We follow Mr Cameron, we vote to remain and then we come back to this Parliament. Is this Parliament going to support British exceptionalism? I think we have heard voices today that make it perfectly clear that this will not happen. So the deal, Mr Tusk – and Mr Cameron if you are listening – is not legally binding in any way at all. I have to say that the British public will decide which is our safest option. Is it safe to stay within an organisation whose own police boss tells us there are 3 000 to 5 000 terrorists who have now come into our continent through the migrant crisis, or is it safest to take back control of our own borders and our own democracy? After much consideration, I have decided to opt to vote for us to leave."@en1
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