Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2017-01-19-Speech-4-348-000"

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"Madam President, after the UK’s departure from the European Union the other Member States will be much freer to push ahead with the harmonisation of social policy, which I’m sure will be a matter of relief to many Members in this House. It will no longer be our responsibility, but of course we will still have a continuing interest in the success and stability of our neighbours. Prosperous neighbours make good customers, and we are talking about countries which are old friends and allies. One of the things that I have found quoted at me many times since I was elected nearly 20 years ago is Winston Churchill’s speech in Zurich in 1946 when he said: ‘I am going to say something which will astonish you. I want a United States of Europe’. Nobody ever quotes what he went on to say; he made it clear that Britain would not be part of that the United States of Europe, but would support it from the outside as a flying buttress, as a friend and a sponsor. Now we have the opportunity, belatedly, to realise his vision: to have a relationship with our European friends that is based on cooperation rather than convergence, on alliance rather than absorption."@en1

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