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Sir Edward LEIGH

Speeches since 2019

10/10/2023 | 18:58:24 There's no need for an Englishman to defend France, because France is a bastion and a beacon of human rights and always has been. Of course, France's relationships with Europe, and in particular with the United Kingdom, have been complicated over the centuries. Most recently in the First and Second World Wars and since, France has been a bastion of freedom in alliance with her family of free nations. We in the United Kingdom have immense respect for our closest neighbours, our partners, and... 19/06/2023 | 17:38:46 (Undelivered speech, Rules of Procedure Art. 31.2)   Turkey is a complicated society and is a bridge between Central Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. These three different directions have either pulled or attracted Turkey for centuries. Since Ataturk and the foundation of the Turkish republic, the tendency has been for Turkey to become more and more European. As a democratic country it has been a keystone in the NATO alliance and joined the Council of Europe within a year of our foundation... 26/04/2023 | 19:17:12 Well Lord George FOULKES is a lovely man but I seldom agree with much of what he says. Of course, he is a fanatical pro-European –  there is nothing wrong with that, he is entitled to his views – but he is constantly lecturing us about how the British people made a terrible mistake in leaving the European Union. Although, dare I say it, he is an unelected member of the unelected House of Lords, whereas I am elected by 75 000 people, 60% of my constituency voted to leave and 17 million people... 25/04/2023 | 17:27:41 Madam President. It is an honour to speak in this debate and as a United Kingdom Brexiteer, I never thought that I would speak in this vast chamber of the European Parliament, at least five times bigger than our more intimate chamber in the House of Commons, and summing up in its vast space-ness, the remoteness that many of us think characterises the European Union. But the Council of Europe, of course, and its Parliamentary Assembly is supposed to be very different, it is an inter... 26/01/2023 | 10:36:21 President, it is an honour to open this debate on behalf of my group and it is even more of an honour to follow the last speech. which was truly inspiring. It almost bought a tear to our eyes when we heard of that poor farmer. To the world, he may have been a farmer but to his family, he was the universe. And this explains the appalling, emotional and cruel impact of this war. And the other phrase that we heard in that inspiring speech was that Putin, in reality, is not afraid of NATO. That... 24/01/2023 | 19:14:51 The Council of Europe has got to concentrate on the important things and the most important thing at the moment, of course, is to resist Russian aggression, and to its credit, the Council of Europe very quickly after this appalling invasion kicked Russia out of this Assembly. Although our record before then was mixed and we all know that because we wanted the Russian subscription after the invasion and annexation of Crimea we did not move fast enough and we allowed them to stay in this... 12/10/2022 | 12:05:19 Sometimes, Mister President, I have been critical of this Assembly because I think it has concentrated on minor issues, particularly in Western Europe. May I say that this report is an excellent report produced by my colleague Mr John HOWELL and his co-rapporteur. It is absolutely forensic in its criticism and it seems to me that this is a sort of issue that the Council of Europe has got to concentrate on. Here is a founder member of the Council of Europe and yet there is absolutely no doubt... 11/10/2022 | 11:23:28 It's an honour, Madam President, to follow the last speaker from Kosovo, and we welcome us to this Assembly of the free nations of Europe. Because, dear colleagues, make no mistake: we are now engaged in an existential battle in the world. On one hand, we have the freeman nations of the West, led by the United States of America, and let us have no criticism of that great republic, countries of the European Union, countries like my own, Great Britain. On the other hand, we have authoritarian... 22/06/2022 | 11:44:38 Can you hear me? Thank you very much for calling me in this debate. It's a great honour to speak in this debate, because the scourge of antisemitism is something that disfigures and has disfigured large parts of Europe and European history. I'm pleased to say that the only country I can speak of with any real knowledge, the United Kingdom, has enjoyed, over the last century, extremely good relations with our Jewish community. There was a large Jewish community in the United Kingdom at the end... 27/04/2022 | 20:23:17 (Undelivered speech, Rules of Procedure Art. 31.2)   Today I have the great honour of having been officially sanctioned by the Russian government for opposing Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack against Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry has accused me and 286 other British MPs of the “groundless whipping-up of Russophobic hysteria” aimed at “demonizing” Russia. Nothing could be further from the truth. At all times we have sought dialogue with Russia and encouraged Western...