Nigel Farage: So-called 'populists' are actually democrats





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Published on May 11, 2011

• European Parliament, Strasbourg - 10 May 2011

• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, UKIP, Co-President of the EFD Group in the European Parliament (Europe of Freedom and Democracy)

• Debate: Council and Commission statements on migration flows and asylum and their impact on Schengen
• Full transcript:

Mr President,

Yesterday indeed was Europe Day. And in the courtyard here we had armed soldiers; we had the Luftwaffe band and imperial eagles; we had the flag being paraded, being raised, the European anthem - it was a display of militarism and EU nationalism.

I thought and hoped it was all just a bad dream.

But today we've got you Mr Barroso. You begin of course by reiterating the fact that the free movement of peoples is the embodiment of the European project. You then go on to say that it is the duty of member states to share the burdens of migratory flows into Europe. You advocate a common EU immigration policy.

But of course you know that you're losing, because the row that's blown up between Italy and France shows that when there's a crisis, whether it's the theory of European integration or the practicality of the nation state, it is the nation state that wins.

So you're worried that you're losing. And in your defence of your position; in your defence of your beloved acquis communautaire - your body of law - you resort to intolerance; you resort to nationalism. You make me realise that what I saw yesterday was actually for real.

You attack those who want to control their own border policies. You attack them today as xenophobes. You attack them as extremists. But worst of all, oh, worst of all you attacked them three times for being populists.

Isn't that a dreadful thing. The power of the ballot box. When people dare to vote No in referendums, they're populists. When they want to control their own borders, they are populists. I put it to you that populists are actually democrats, and you abuse those that want to fly the flag of populism.

Well here it is, Mr Barroso, here it is [holds up Union Jack]. And that flag has represented liberal democracy far more than any other member state of this European Union and it will go on long after your star-spangled banner has disappeared.

• Video Source:
Speech - EbS - European Parliament


• EU Member States:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom


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