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 Full text 
Monday, 15 July 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

One-minute speeches on matters of political importance

  Matthew Patten (NI). – Madam President, 400 000 people from the East Midlands elected me to come here and speak for them. Two hundred million people across Europe voted for us all to be here. The democratic foundation of the EU is based on us – 751 directly elected MEPs who represent our voters in this Hemicycle, the debating Chamber and its replica in Brussels. So why are the Parliament Chambers open less than 60 days a year? Last week in Brussels our Chamber was locked all week. Tonight is the only time that MEPs are allowed to speak freely for the whole of July, and then only some of us have been chosen and we’re only allowed 60 seconds each. No wonder there are so few MEPs here now. Is it the case that there is nothing to speak about? Is it the case that our voters don’t want their voices heard? Or is the real answer that the people in the Commission, in the Council, behind the closed doors don’t want to hear what we have to say? Sixty days is not enough to hear our voice. Sixty seconds is not enough. Our voices must be heard. Please, Madam President, please can we have more parliament?

Last updated: 14 August 2019Legal notice