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Icelanders: independent people

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Daniel Hannan: MEP for South East England Mr Hannan Madam Chairman, it's touchingly hopeful of this House to imagine that anyone would vote to join the EU in present circumstances. Not for the first time, the European Parliament is exhibiting an optimism that makes Doctor Pangloss sound like Cassandra. I've been visiting Iceland since 1992. I've been a regular, and appreciative, visitor. And I've seen a country transformed in those years. Of course it's been through hard times recently, but nobody can deny the magnitude of an achievement which has taken a people, in two generations, from subsistence farming and fishing to enjoying one of the highest standards of living in the world. Now, I'm a democrat and I will respect the decision of the Icelandic people one way or the other. If they vote to join the EU I will of course back their claim. But I can't imagine for a moment that they will vote to surrender the prerogatives of the Althing, one of the oldest parliaments in the world, that they will condemn their oceans to the same sterility as the seas around Britain have, and that they will hand away the autonomy -- the self-reliance that is bred in the bone of Icelandic people. Their most famous modern novel is called Independent People (Sjálfstætt fólk). It's a phrase that has a resonance that non-Icelanders find hard to appreciate. Unless I have utterly misjudged them, they will not vote to hand away that independence and surrender their democracy. Read Daniel's blog: :: ::

Video Details

Duration: 1 minute and 33 seconds
Country: France
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 97
Posted by: mmister on Jul 8, 2010

Dan Hannan

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