European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:04 pm on 5th September 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Deech Baroness Deech Crossbench 1:04 pm, 5th September 2019

There was genocide in Kosovo and nothing was done by Europe. Crimea was taken over and nothing was done by Europe. Europe is not paying its subventions to NATO.

Then we look further into Europe, which is much vaunted for its human rights. In Catalonia, strivers for independence are in prison. Poland lacks judicial independence and freedom of speech and refuses to take any except Christian migrants. Italy is chaotic. Greece has been driven into poverty, and there is youth unemployment in Spain and Portugal. In Germany and many other countries, the right wing is on the rise. In France, the gilets jaunes are an expression of a much deeper malaise. French security is an oxymoron, as is Belgian intelligence. I will be happy for Hansard to record my deep fears about the future of the European Union because empires—it was a Franco-German empire and is now just a German empire—end like this, with too much power in the middle and too much unhappiness on the periphery, and the push-back gives rise to the extremism which we see rising around Europe and which is lapping at our ankles now.

On that count, I think that our membership cannot but be something of a record of failure to stem what has happened in Europe. I wish the other 27 well in future, but if I were a citizen of one of the countries I have just mentioned, I would feel very fearful for my future welfare. I hope that we can get some answers from the Benches opposite about what the Bill will do to prevent the eternal burden of membership of the European Union.