UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall speaks during the debate on the programme of the Latvian Presidency, Strasbourg, 14.01.2015
• European Parliament, Strasbourg, 13 January 2015
• Paul Nuttall MEP, Deputy Leader, UK Independence Party (North West), Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group - @paulnuttallukip
• Programme of activities of the Latvian Presidency
Council and Commission statements
Madame Prime Minister, I predict that the next six months will prove a rocky road for the Latvian Presidency. There will be many difficult issues to deal with including Mr Juncker's fantasy financial plan, Greece's possible exit from the Euro, dealing with the instability in Ukraine, encouraged by the European Union, of course. And finally a continent coming to terms with the Islamic extremism we witnessed last week.
But in many ways Latvia is a microcosm of all that has gone wrong in the EU, your economy tanked in 2008 followed by one of the worst recessions on the planet. You had to receive a bailout even before you joined the ailing currency that is the euro, against the wishes of your people, of course. You are still the fourth poorest country in the EU, you have lost twenty percent of your population since 1992, so much so that the Baltic is now depopulating faster than anywhere else in the world. Your brightest, best and young are fleeing west in their droves and where are they going? Well considering that one in every thirty Latvians lives in the UK that's pretty easy to answer.
You have a brain drain, an ageing population which means that there will be a skills, a pension and a healthcare crisis not far down the line. In all freedom of movement and the EU's economic policies have been a disaster for Latvia and may I suggest you get your own house in order first before you take on the problems of an old, tired and out of date European Union.