A Brexit referendum is a golden opportunity for those who wish to resuscitate democracy - UKIP Leader Nigel Farage
•"We are seeing is an increasingly authoritarian European Union that crushes democratic rights and then actually crows about it" said Nigel Farage in the European Parliament, Strasbourg today before Presidents Juncker and Tusk.
After Italy and Greece had their prime ministers deposed, Farage said, we now have the dismissal of democracy in Portugal, where the President of Portugal, Mr Silva, is refusing elected Left-wing Eurosceptics office on the grounds that they represent anti-European forces .
What we are witnessing, Farage concluded is "the modern day implementation of the Brezhnev doctrine. This is exactly what happened to states living inside the USSR."
As this migrant crisis begins to overwhelm the European Union, and yes it is an existential crisis, perhaps we should ask ourselves what really is the true nature of this project? Because I've heard a lot today about rights, well what about democratic rights? Because I think what we are seeing is an increasingly authoritarian European Union that crushes democratic rights and then actually crows about it.
Every single time there is a crisis, it is national democracy that loses. We saw back in 2011 the Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi sounding Eurosceptic, removed and replaced by a puppet Prime Minister. We saw exactly the same happen in Greece in 2011, Mr Papandreou threatened a referendum on Euro membership, there was a coup against him, he was replaced by a puppet. In this migrant crisis we've seen four countries, led by the strongest Hungary, making it clear they want no part of EU migrant quotas, only to find themselves crushed through EU trickery and made to accept the very thing they said no to.
And I never forget seeing the Greek Prime Minister Mr Tspiras sitting just over there having won a General Election and then come to this House to be told that the manifesto was unacceptable and it must be ditched. Well I think all of this has reached a new low this week with Portugal. Virtually unremarked upon by the media and yet for those who don't know there is now, following a General Election, a left wing majority with a socialist plan for Portugal, and yet the President of Portugal, Mr Silva, is refusing them office on the grounds that they represent anti-European forces and is allowing the minority Conservative pro-EU Prime Minister to stay in place.
This is the modern day implementation of the Brezhnev doctrine. This is exactly what happened to states living inside the USSR. What is been made clear here with Greece and indeed with Portugal is that a country only has democratic rights if it's in favour of the project. If not those votes are taken away and perhaps none of this should surprise us, as Mr Juncker has told us before, "there can be no democratic choice against the European treaties", and the German finance minister Mr Schauble has said, "elections change nothing. There are rules".
I think for anyone that believes in democracy, Portugal should be the final straw. It should be the warning that this project to protect itself and all its failings will destroy the individual rights of people and of nations. My country has always believed in parliamentary democracy, so strongly that twice in the last century it risked everything to fight for parliamentary democracy. Not just for Britain but for the rest of Europe too and I actually believe for all of us believe in democracy and want to see it re-implemented that the British Referendum offers a golden opportunity.
(Question on whether Nigel knows of USSR coups)
Well actually although I have to say I wasn't around at the time of the Hungarian uprising it did happen. We saw a similar one happening in Czechoslovakia in 1968, so let me tell you what the Brezhnev doctrine says shall I, because I'm sure you remember it. - "When forces that are hostile to socialism try to turn the development of the socialist country towards capitalism it becomes not only a problem of the country concerned, but a common problem and a concern of all socialist countries." I think what you need to do, is cross out socialist and put European Union and it fits like a glove.