• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the ‘Europe of Freedom and Democracy’ (EFD) Group in the European Parliament – http://nigelfaragemep.co.uk
• Debate: Preparations for the European Council meeting (14-15 March 2013)
Council and Commission statements
With a resolution on the European Council conclusions of 7-8 February concerning the Multiannual Financial Framework
Well, the air is thick with denial in this chamber this morning.
There has been a major political event since we last met and no one has mentioned it. Italy had an election. And 55% of the electorate voted for Eurosceptic political parties, indeed Mr Grillo’s movement managed to get 26%. It is quite tough in European politics these days to tell who the comedians are.
And what is absolutely clear is that Eurozone membership is completely incompatible with nation-state democracy. You can do what you like to take away the powers of national parliaments but people will go on voting, and there is a trend developing right across Europe; the Eurosceptic parties are going to get stronger and stronger.
And there is complete denial about the Eurozone crisis. You’d think listening to everyone this morning that it’s over. You know, Mr Barroso comes out with a technocratic speech that everything is fine and dandy. Mind you, far better than the unutterable drivel we had from [Economics and euro commissioner] Olli Rehn yesterday which sent many members to sleep.
You are not facing up to the consequences for what you’ve done. Mr Verhofstadt talks about a lost generation in Spain, Mr Daul talks about youngsters struggling to be fed by their families in Greece.
And all of that is true, but it’s being caused by the Euro. And that is what you are failing to recognise.
The Eurozone has been a complete economic disaster. [Verhofstadt starts shouting]
And the other thing you are not going to face up to… [Chairman asks Verfohstadt to control himself]
The real problem that you won’t face up to though is the state of the French economy and the fact that France is now diverging by the month with Germany.
So right at the very heart of the European project and the Eurozone project there is a disaster coming down the tracks. I am afraid in the end, the whole thing is going to break up.
But I would also point out, you’re in denial over Romania and Bulgaria. Those two countries are racked with corruption and organised crime. They should never have been allowed to join the European Union.
I want to make it absolutely clear, we in UKIP do not believe it’s right and fair to have total open borders from next year for unlimited numbers of people from those countries to come to Britain, to work, but also, if they want, to claim benefits.
And as the results in the recent Eastleigh by-election showed the British electorate are increasingly saying ‘enough is enough’.
It’s not just us, the major of Duisburg in Germany has now publicly said that the massive influx from Romania and Bulgaria is causing huge social problems.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve got to face up to it. We should not be in political union with Romania and Bulgaria.
Video source: EbS (European Parliament)
• EU Member States:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom