UKIP leader Nigel Farage fired with both barrels,
Nigel Farage (IND/DEM). – Mr Sócrates, you are part of this great deception: the attempt to hoodwink the British, the French and the Dutch into accepting a treaty without a referendum. The other day you said that this treaty was less federalist. I ask you: less federalist than what? You really could not make some of this stuff up.This was followed by TEBAF Wallstrom
Fortunately, there are some voices in the EU who are honest and say that we have the substance of the Constitution and all we have done is to change the terminology. Others say that we have 90%, or 99%, of what was there in the first place.
Whether we are playing the game that you are playing or whether we are being honest, we all know the truth, which is that if the British had a referendum on this, 70% or perhaps more would say ‘no’. I wonder whether it would not be better for everybody if the British just were not part of this European Union. Why do we not just get a quickie divorce? We can do it very quickly; let us keep the lawyers out; let us have a free trade agreement; let us have a Swiss-style relationship. I think everybody would be a lot happier, most certainly we would be.
While we are at it, I simply cannot bear listening to you and Mr Barroso blathering on about Africa and what we have to do to help people there. A very good start would be for you to stop Mr Mugabe attending the summit in December: that would send a good message.
However, I will give you a real challenge, a positive thing that you could do. Yesterday Mr Barroso talked about the EU being an empire and, when it comes to Africa, my goodness me it is! I urge you to stop the fisheries deals with West Africa. Stop your own fleet. Stop the Spanish fleet plundering western African resources, killing African fishermen. If you do that in your six-month Presidency
Mr President, honourable Members, there must be a position between Pangloss and.
his over-optimism and Eyeore the Donkey thinking that everything is hopeless. It is a very rare thing in politics to get a second life and I am not referring to internet role-playing. Remember that, less than a year ago, the Constitutional Treaty or the idea of having a new treaty was declared dead, on life support or in a coma. And now we are discussing a ratification procedure coming up very soon.
I think that engaging now in a blame game will not help us a bit, and, as a final comment on this debate, I have two things to say. First of all, on the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the European Commission does not like opt-outs. We would have preferred not to have any opt-outs. But what was the real political choice here? It was a weakened charter without legal force or a charter that is legally binding for the EU institutions with an opt-out, or preserving the full text of the charter. Then, I prefer to have a charter which is legally binding, and an opt-out is also an opt-in so this is not cast in stone.
My second comment is that I would like to say that I assume that Members of Parliament do not consider parliamentary ratification less democratically legitimate than referenda.
Some Eurosceptics of course hope that the challenge of informing citizens and engaging citizens about and in such a complex issue as a treaty can be turned into a weapon that can kill further European integration. But I do not think we should allow that.
Also, regardless of what ratification method is chosen by Member States, we are all obliged to inform, to engage, to debate, to discuss with citizens all over Europe and this is what we now have to commit to, to do together, in full cooperation and in a planned manner. This is also how we will contribute from the Commission side. So, I will come back to you very soon with that kind of planning for a proper and democratic and open and transparent ratification procedure.
With that I also wish the Portuguese Presidency all the best with opening the IGC
All good knockabout stuff.
But this is deadly serious, we have the Commission president stating that the EU is created as an Empire, but without a centralised controlling force, a government by dictat. Then we have his Vice President dictating what we are, or in this case are not allowed to do. Frankly this is getting very worrying. The hectoring bullying approach of thgese people is very scary. The Charter of Fundamental Rights opt out, so beloved of Brown and his predecessor is not "set in stone". Well that rubs out one of their precious red lines, then this unelected peroxide hamster has the temerity to tell people what they can do.