UKIP Leader Nigel Farage speaks during the debate on the forthcoming Council meeting (19-20 December 2013), Strasbourg, 11.12.2013
• European Parliament, Strasbourg, 11 December 2013
• 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.
• Debate: Preparations for the European Council meeting (19-20 December 2013)
Council and Commission statements
I know it is seasonal to talk about the 12 days of Christmas but I want to talk about the 21 day countdown to the opening of the doors to 29 million poor people from Romania and Bulgaria. It does I think mark a pivotal moment in British politics.
Now, very often in Britain, MEPs complain that they haven't got a high enough profile with the public and I want to try and change that today because Brigadier Geoffrey Van Orden, sitting behind me here, British Conservative, was the rapporteur, the sponsor for Bulgaria joining the European Union and for us having a total open door to all of those people. So well done Brigadier! And I want all the British people to know who you are and what your achievements are.
And of course, what Free Movement means, it means free healthcare, it means free education, it means free access to the benefits system, it means an open door to the criminal gangs and the modern day fagans who will of course benefit from the fact that London is the most successful and wealthy international city in Europe.
Already the situation is so bad that 92% of ATM crime in London last year was committed by Romanians. Now look, I am not scapegoating in any way, and I know that a lot of people that come from Bulgaria and Romania will be very decent people who want to work hard and want to better their lives. But free movement does not work in the European Union now that we have countries that are poor.
A man that comes from Bucharest and works in London and gets child benefit for the two children back home; that child benefit is worth more than he can actually earn doing a menial job in Bucharest, and that is the reason why the numbers that come to Britain will indeed be absolutely enormous.
Now, I have said for some time, and now the British people agree: Enough is Enough! Eighty per cent of the British people do not want those borders to come down in 21 days' time.
It's unfair. It's unfair on working people, it is leading to lower wages, it is leading to higher youth unemployment, and it is leading to divided communities.
But of course, it does not end here, because our Prime Minister, Mr Cameron with the full support of Labour and the LibDems now wants to extend this principle of open borders, as he says himself, "from the Atlantic to the Urals". So it means countries like Kazakstan, indeed the Ukraine joining the European Union. I see that that Tony Blair is now helping Albania join the European Union, well good luck to them with that. We even want to extend it to Turkey joining the European Union.
Well our message is that a Turkey is just for Christmas, it is not for political union. We don't want open borders.
And, Mr Cameron, do not next week at the summit surrender in any way surrender to deeper European military integration. Many in this room would have bombed Syria had they the capability. Thank God, it did not.
On open doors, on a European Armies, the voters will have their say next May, and I think there is going to be a radical change. I think there is going be an earthquake in British politics next May.