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Lisbon Treaty

Plenary Speech - Tuesday, 24th June 2008

Mr. President

President Sarkozy is reported in the London Times as saying: "The Irish are bloody fools. They have been stuffing their faces at Europe's expense for years, and now they dump us in the s**t". His word, not mine.

Last week we all said we respected the Irish result. But we do not respect it. We are treating the Irish with utter contempt. Like Robert Mugabe, we simply reject the verdict of the people.

Wolfgang Schaeuble says that a million Irish cannot decide for half a billion Europeans. Very well then. Let the half billion vote on the Treaty. You dare not, because you know they too would vote NO.

This very month the EU lost its last pretence of public consent or democratic legitimacy. You are revealed for what you are -- an authoritarian conspiracy against the people.

The referendum was in Ireland, but it was here in Brussels that democracy finally died. We are here today to bury it.