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 Full text 
Debates
Wednesday, 27 March 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Conclusions of the European Council meeting of 21 and 22 March 2019 (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Ryszard Antoni Legutko, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, as always, there is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that the Council has managed to set out a clear timetable, and that was accepted by the United Kingdom, and hopefully the solution will be found within the timetable. But let us leave Britain to the Brits. My concern is the European Union.

The bad news is that the EU still seems to continue pursuing the same policy of deterrence, which roughly speaking consist of two elements. First, to punish the United Kingdom by a no deal, so that no one in the future would dare to follow in their footsteps. And secondly, to humiliate the United Kingdom by inducing them to undo Brexit by organising, for instance, another referendum. They’re using the argument that it was a very small majority that decided about Brexit. Well, if it had been the other way round – if the remainers have won by the same small majority – their verdict would have been considered here in this Chamber as absolutely irrevocable and binding for eternity.

(Applause from certain quarters)

Not to mention the fact that organising referenda until one gets the results one wants is a peculiar contribution of the European Union to the theory and practice of democracy.

(Applause from certain quarters)

So this is foul play.

But the bad news is also the tone of self-congratulation which we have heard today. This is not a time for self-congratulation; this is a time for self-appraisal. President Juncker, President Tusk, let us admit it: this has been the most crisis-ridden period in the entire history of European integration. Brexit is one of several crises, and all of you who have taken the major decisions in the European Union are responsible for it – do not delude yourselves. A great share of responsibility is with you, gentlemen, and ladies too.

President Macron recently wrote a letter to everybody in Europe, and he proposed more of the same – more centralisation. The funny part of it is that he called it a ‘European renaissance’. Apparently, he does not understand the meaning of the words he is using – ‘European twilight’ would probably have been a more adequate term.

(Laughter and applause from certain quarters)

Of course, the Brexit clock is ticking and we are all aware of it. We await progress in London, and hopefully this will happen. But we should also be prepared for any outcome and we should be ready to offer any help that we can. This is our problem too, whatever the outcome, and we should be friendly to the decision of the British people – whichever way they go. But the clock is also ticking for the European Union, ladies and gentlemen, and you should be listening to voters across Europe. There are more and more voters desperate for change, and change will happen.

(Applause)

 
Last updated: 28 June 2019Legal notice