• European Parliament, Strasbourg, 17 January 2012
• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, UKIP leader, Co-President of the EFD Group in the European Parliament (Europe of Freedom and Democracy group)
• Debate: Election of the President of Parliament (MEPs have just elected German social-democrat Martin Schulz with 387 votes out of 670 votes cast.)
• Video: EbS - European Parliament
Well, good morning Mr Schulz, President Schulz. I know it is my job to congratulate you but given that we knew the result two and a half years ago as a result of a stitch-up there does not seem to be much point. After all, no one in Europe, or modern day Europe would dream of having a big powerful job that was decided by a full open process, I am sure Mr Barroso would agree.
I was musing this morning. I was thinking, what kind of President Schulz are we going to get? Are we going to get a dignified, calm - a figure that behaves like the speaker of all great parliaments around the world, someone who puts himself above politics and the nitty gritty of arguments, who is an ambassador, indeed an ambassador.
Or are we going to get the Martin Schulz we have got to know since 2004 and leader of the Socialist group. You know the one I mean - snarling, angry, unable to control his temper, intolerant of anybody with an alternative point of view. Somebody who is contemptuous of free referendums where people have the temerity to vote No. Somebody who is anti-British to his fingertips and does not like free markets.
I was wondering which one we are going to get?
Well, your opening speech has settled that question for me. It is pretty clear we are going to have two and half years of political fanaticism from the chair. And I have to say only a Third World country, only a banana republic would want to have an overtly political president of a parliament but it is what we have got.
I may represent the smallest group in this parliament Mr Schulz, but I can tell you that it's a group whose ideas and views are now being echoed by a growing number of citizens right across this continent. I am sure you'll agree the opinion polls show it's kind of fifty-fifty whether people think this EU is a good thing or a bad thing.
What we represent, sir is not anti-Europeanism - that is not what it's about. We believe in nation state democracy, we want a Europe of trade, we want a Europe of cooperation, we want a Europe that is responsible.
We don't want a Europe that seeks to be a global superpower. We don't want a Europe run by Mr Barroso and the Commission under the so-called Community method. And I'll do my very best to provide political opposition to your presidency over the course of the next two and a half years. I hope you'll give us a fair hearing. Thank you.