Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2016-09-14-Speech-3-026-000"

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"Mr President, this annual tradition of the State of the Union speech was started by your predecessor, Mr Barroso, and perhaps now is a good opportunity – and I am sure the whole House would like to join me – to congratulate Mr Barroso on his new, highly paid job at Goldman Sachs. Is it not all wonderful? Whatever happens, Mr Juncker, I am sure the big boys will look after you. Having listened to what you have said this morning, all I can say is that I am pleased we voted to leave. It is clear that no lessons are going to be learned from Brexit. Indeed, it was the usual recipe: more Europe, and in this particular case, more military Europe – a European army, common defence, and already in this House people are saying, well, the Americans will not be here anymore and we will have to stand alone with our own military structures. Instead of a project of peace, I would have thought this is probably a very dangerous move. It is not going to change the rapid growth in opposition parties across the whole of Europe. It is not going to stop the Central and Eastern European countries from saying no to Mrs Merkel’s migrant quotas, and I think you have got a lot more referenda to look forward to. But in terms of Brexit, you are probably right to be slightly critical of the British Government who, I agree, ought to get on with it. But is pretty clear that the EU is getting on with it, and you have already appointed your divorce lawyers. On behalf of the European Parliament we have got Guy Verhofstadt: he is the man who is going to be negotiating Brexit. If you were to think of this building as a temple, Mr Verhofstadt is the high priest, a fanatic. In fact, there is only one real nationalist in the room and it is you, Mr Verhofstadt, because you want flags, anthems and armies. You are an EU nationalist, and I frankly think that this appointment amounts to pretty much a declaration of war on any sensible negotiating process. If you stick to the dogma of saying that for reciprocal tariff-free access to the single market we must maintain the free movement of people, then you will inevitably drive us towards no deal – no deal on trading under WTO rules for the United Kingdom, which is actually not too bad because it is very much better and cheaper than the current deal we have got. But for hundreds of thousands of German car workers and French wine producers, it is potentially very bad news, because we are their biggest market; their most profitable market in the world. I would argue that what we really need is to have a sensible, common-sense approach, and for this Parliament to recognise that it has made a mistake and to find somebody who actually likes the United Kingdom to lead these talks."@en1

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