• European Parliament, Brussels, 12 November 2014
• Paul Nuttall MEP, Deputy Leader, UK Independence Party (North West), Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group – @paulnuttallukip
• Debate: Statement by the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker
In your opening remarks Mr Juncker, you seem to be blaming everybody else and not yourself, and in a desperate effort to throw everybody off the scent you call for more EU tax harmonisation. Rubbish I say!
Now, let’s get to the rub of it. The definition of hypocrisy according in the Oxford English dictionary is the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more normal beliefs than is the case.
And I don’t think anyone in this chamber could disagree with me today when I say this perfectly sums up the position of the President of the European Commission here today.
When Mr Juncker was campaigning for the post he stood on a platform of stamping out aggressive tax avoidance by multinational corporations across the EU, yet it is now clear from recent revelations that he had not practiced what he was preaching.
Under his tenure Luxembourg was a “magical fairy land” for multinational corporations where tax rates were as little as one percent paid on profits.
Mr Juncker, you said that this was within the rules, but equally I say it is morally bankrupt. When asked by one of my UKIP colleagues back in July how you could justify tax standardisation across the EU whilst overseeing a tax haven in Luxembourg, you simply dodged the question and now we know why.
Could this possibly be a case of history repeating itself? Because Mr Juncker’s predecessor as PM of Luxembourg, Jacques Santer, was forced to resign as president of the commission under a cloud of corruption back in 1999. So I suppose if you think about it in those terms then Mr Juncker’s appointment can be summed up by Albert Einstein’s theory of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
I’d like to finish by asking this chamber why the people of Europe are increasingly sceptical about the EU. Well allow me to tell you with one simple sentence. It is because it is always a case of do as I say and not as I do, and therefore I believe Mr Juncker you have two options. One is to honourably resign, or two, at least stand down while an independent investigation takes place. Thank you.