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No democratic legitimacy

Plenary speech - Wednesday, 20th February 2008

Mr. President

Today, the European project abandons any claim to democratic legitimacy. Today we will vote through the Renamed Constitution, in an act that shows monstrous contempt for European citizens and Democratic values.

In 2005, the voters of France and Holland decisively rejected the Constitution. I am astonished by the bare-faced effrontery of European leaders who have changed the packaging, but are now bringing back the rejected substance in defiance of public opinion.

Most French and Dutch MEPs will support this report. I do not know how they will face their voters. I do not know how they will sleep at night.

In the UK, our Labour government has broken its solemn promise of a referendum. Yet in postal polls conducted by campaign groups, more than 80% of voters vote YES to a referendum.

By forcing through this measure in the teeth of public opposition, you are hacking at the very foundations of the Europe you are trying to build. We must listen to the people. We demand a referendum.