• Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) Group in the European Parliament - @Nigel_Farage
• Debate: Conclusions of the European Council meeting of 18 and 19 February 2016 European Council and Commission statements
Well it’s really rather exciting isn’t it? It’s referendum season and the referendum is coming on the 6th of April in the Netherlands where they’re going to have a referendum on the Ukrainian deal and the opinion polls show they are going to reject it. And just today Mr Orban has announced there is going to be a referendum in Hungary, where they are going to have a referendum on whether they should be forced to accept mandatory quotas for the migrants after the grievous errors of the EU’s Common Asylum Policy, not to mention Mrs Merkel’s pronouncements. And overnight we get a Czech premier telling us that there is now demand building in the Czech Republic to have a referendum on membership. And I nearly forgot, there’s going to be a British referendum on June the 23rd on whether we remain or leave the European Union.
This follows a forty hour summit where Mr Cameron, doing his modern day impression of Oliver Twist, went up to Mr Tusk and said “please sir, can I have some more concessions?” Well he didn’t get very much did he? We’re allowed to change ever so slightly migrant benefits for a short period of time and we’re told that in future we won’t be committed to ever closer union and on the basis of all of that we are going to have a referendum that the Prime Minister says on a deal that is legally binding and indeed Mr Tusk joined in with this today by saying the British deal was legally binding. To top that off Mr Cameron has told us that he will lodge the deal, he will lodge the documents, at the United Nations but frankly you might as well lodge an old pair of socks because it is completely meaningless, the fact that you have lodged a document there, you could use a safety deposit box.
But is this deal legally binding Mr Tusk? Well the ECJ themselves said in 2008 that the obligations imposed by an international agreement cannot have the effect of prejudicing the constitutional principles of the EU treaties which means the ECJ rule in favour of the existing treaties until we get a new treaty. But who is to say there is going to be a new treaty? Any new treaty would trigger yet more referendums and would not be favoured I think by the big groups in this parliament. But of course we have an emergency brake that has been judged to be a great success but crucially that happens through secondary legislation that can be voted on by this parliament.
So what happens? We have a referendum, we follow Mr Cameron, we vote to remain and then we come back to this parliament. Is this parliament going to support British exceptionalism? I think we have heard voices today that make it perfectly clear that that will not happen. So the deal Mr Tusk and Mr Cameron, if you’re listening, is not legally binding in any way at all. And I have to say the British public will decide; which is our safest option? Is it safe to stay within an organisation whose own police boss tells us there are 3000-5000 terrorists that have now come into our continent through the migrant crisis or is it safest to take back control of our own borders and our own democracy? After much consideration I have decided to opt to vote for us to leave.