14-Feb-2017 @ 11:30
Speaking in a European Parliament debate today on the future of the EU, Conservative MEPs' leader Ashley Fox said the EU had lost touch with its citizens.
Responding to a report by Belgian Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt which calls for more power to be centralised in Brussels, Mr Fox urged MEPs to heed the message of Brexit.
His full speech is below:
"The EU is facing many crises and this report was a great opportunity to change the direction of the EU. So who decided to give it to Guy Verhofstadt?
Because from that moment there was only going to be one solution. Mr Verhofstadt is very consistent. Whatever the question the answer is always the same – more Europe. So he calls for the Commission to become Europe's government, for a new EU Finance Minister to head a new EU Treasury, and for this parliament to have the power to levy taxes on our citizens.
My group says no.
Britain did not vote to leave the EU because there was not enough Europe. We voted to leave because the EU does too much. It has already taken too much power from the Member States and has lost touch with its citizens.
This report seeks to create a United States of Europe. Instead of listening to the people it is telling them that Brussels knows best. Instead of extending democracy it is centralising power. And so, rather than strengthening the EU, it undermines it further.
With the exception of one paragraph calling for a single seat for the parliament, this is a dreadful report.
Mr President, the EU has to change. But not like this."