• Speaking in a debate on EUobserver TV (01.09.2010) on the French repatriation of Roma to Bulgaria and Romania, UKIP MEP Nigel Farage said this issue "gets to the heart of the relationship between Member States and the European Union."
"From 2014 there will be absolutely no possibility for Sarkozy sending people home, because they will have total rights of movement and of work, and all the transitional arrangments would have ended," Mr Farage said, referring to France's current legal basis for the expulsion of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens who settle in France.
"If the president or prime minister of a country doesn't have the right to say who should come to live, work and settle in their country, then do their own population realise just how much power this European project has got? So this is a fundamental debate about the European Union - and do the peoples of Europe really want this?"
"Any uncontrolled, large-scale migration poses a threat to the whole cohesion of a society," Mr Farage pointed out.
"We are facing the prospect of possibly many millions of Roma going from relatively poor countries to much richer countries. Frankly, is that sustainable and doesn't that pose a threat to the cohesion of society?"
"What happens if, say, two and a half million Roma want to move to France, because under the rules they will be allowed to? And that's the prospect we face. For example, over a million Poles came to Britain in 18 months. It's very difficult when you get rid of the boundaries. Don't be surprised that populations are worried."
Mr Farage said Bulgaria and Romania should never have been allowed to join the European Union, given that "the level of discrimination against the Roma people in those countries is horrific.
"I've been to Roma camps, I've talked to Roma people, and frankly, they're not treated much better than the Jews were in the mid-1930s in Germany. That's how horrid it is, so we should never have allowed them in."
"What we've done is we made a fundamental mistake in allowing countries like Romania and Bulgaria to join the European Union when we knew, not just on the levels of corruption, but we knew that there was a large minority that was being heavily discriminated against, but we turned a blind eye because the European empire wants to expand and now the problem isn't just in those countries, it's a problem for all of us."
Also invited to the debate where Hungarian MEP Kinga GÖNCZ (S&D) and Dutch MEP Sophia in't VELD (ALDE). Mr Farage appeared in his capacity as Co-President of the EFD group in the European Parliament.