• Debate: Conclusions of the European Council meeting of 9 and 10 March 2017, including the Rome Declaration European Council and Commission statements
Thank you, I’d like to start by agreeing actually with virtually every other President in this chamber, everyone seems to be a President, on the issue of Turkey. Turkey under Erdogan is moving towards a theocracy akin to the Middle East, it has nothing in common with the democracies of Europe and therefore Turkey should never ever should be allowed to join the European Union. I’m also going to agree with Frau Merkel for the first time actually when she spoke about a two speed Europe coming down the line, it’s true. There is going to be a two speed Europe; there’s going to be Britain with Brexit in the fast lane and all you guys going in reverse.
But I am going to speak quickly about the Treaty of Rome. Even though Britain wasn’t an original signatory it would be churlish of me not to accept that it was a noble and grand plan put together by men and women who witnessed the holocaust, who witnessed Nazi occupation and the horrors of war, but they were men and women of their time, as it is a treaty of its time. To paraphrase the Scottish poet Robbie Burns ‘the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry’ and boy has this gone awry. Because what began as a noble economic plan has evolved into a political monster, egged on by successive eurocrats who are hungry for ever more power and determined to destroy the nation state and what continues to amaze me is that you never learn, you talk about an existential crisis but you say what is needed is even more EU. You are fiddling whilst the Treaty of Rome burns, so what I will say is simply say this; I urge caution when you are celebrating next week because Brexit could trigger a floodgate whereby other countries leave that same treaty you are celebrating next week. Thank you.