• European Parliament, Strasbourg, 12 September 2012
• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the 'Europe of Freedom and Democracy' (EFD) Group in the European Parliament.
- Bluecard question by Jörg LEICHTFRIED MEP (Austria) Socialist group (S&D)
• Debate: State of the Union address by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso [2012/2586(RSP)]
Thank you, well I begin today on a happy note, to remember, that it is twenty years ago this very week that the United Kingdom, having been signed up by the Conservative government to the exchange rate mechanism, broke out of the exchange rate mechanism.
It was a great liberation for us and of course once having been bitten we didn't join the euro project thank goodness. Sadly the same is not true for the rest of Europe and I thought through the last 18 months or so that the economic logic of why Britain left the ERM would apply particular to those Mediterranean countries and I foresaw that actually those countries would leave the eurozone, probably with Greece leaving this year.
But I now have to accept that I've been wrong about that, because I have totally underestimated the complete fanaticism, Mr Barroso of you, your college of commissioners and the European Central Bank.
You've come out fighting on all fronts, today you have announced there is going to be a banking union, yet more centralised control, yet more regulation. You make it clear that whilst you think the nation state should continue to exist it mustn't have any democratic powers. All democracy is to be vested here under what you call the community method, which of course means your unelected commission has the sole right to present that legislation.
So I don't believe you when you say that. I find the tone of much of what has been said and done of the past few days is really very worrying, Mario Draghi, now known by some of those who believe in the euro, as super Mario, he showed us his big bazooka the other day, he upped the stakes and he told us, to me an odd concept, that he had unlimited money.
Now, I don't think money grows on trees, I think that money is limited to what the German, Dutch and Finnish taxpayers are prepared to put in. But he's made it clear - his intention - he will fight to the last German taxpayer to keep the Mediterranean countries that should never have of joined the euro in there, and you've got of course the Prime Minister now of Italy, perhaps we ought to call him 'Monstrous Mario', who made it clear last week that he feared that nation state democracy could bring down the European Union and therefore we have to bypass nation state democracy and pass all the powers here.
Your henchman Oli Rehn, who is here today, he dares to tell countries when they should and should not have general elections. He's urging Spain to accept a full bailout, so that they too are trapped in the euro prison.
You know I have to accept that you now have the whip hand over the citizens of Europe and I now think that this euro crisis will go on for a whole miserable decade.
In the end you will have to face the reality that even France and Germany cannot survive together in the same economic and monetary union and certainly with President Hollande reducing retirement ages, upping minimum wages and bringing in a hate tax for the successful which will see all the entrepreneurs leave France, I'm afraid that gap will get bigger.
And I wonder where the hope comes for those who believe in nation state democracy. Well, we've heard that the German court this morning has decided that the ESM is okay; maybe the Finns will say they've had enough, maybe the Germans, as a country will say 'we no longer are going to go on feeling ashamed and guilty of what our grandparents generation did and will start to stand up for our own economic interests'.
I don't know. But I suspect that the best hope we've got actually comes from the United Kingdom, where now the demand for a referendum is stronger than it's ever been; where a Conservative Prime Minster is in very deep trouble.
And I think Mr. Barroso, today, the British people hearing you, calling for the EU to become a global power making it absolutely clear that members states must obey, must obey what you tell them whether they are in the relatively wealthy north or the poorer south. I think those comments - this emerging, creeping euro dictatorship is something that will repulse millions of British people and the only good news I take from today, is you've helped to bring that referendum just a little bit closer.