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Declan Ganley interview

On the Politics Show, Sunday v March 2009, Jon Sopel interviewed the founder and chairman of Libertas, Declan Ganley.

Interview transcript...

JON SOPEL: Declan Ganley is here with us now in the studio.

Thank you very much for being with us.

Why are you doing this. Why are you kind of trying to stand across Europe.

DECLAN GANLEY: Because a real united Europe is a Europe that respects and unites the voices of Europeans: the French, the Dutch and the Irish all rejected the European Constitution, by millions of votes over the course of the last few years.

Brussels is completely ignoring the democratic will and there is no other effective way of doing this. Libertas is setting up as a Pan-European Party, in twenty seven member states of the European Union, to run candidates in all of those member states and send an unequivocal message to Brussels for democracy, accountability and transparency in European governance.

JON SOPEL: So let me just be clear. You are announcing that you will be fielding candidates here in the UK.

DECLAN GANLEY: Well we're planning to make some announcement on Tuesday, we are looking at that, we've been talking to lots of people and we'll be announcing further plans on Tuesday.

JON SOPEL: Hang on. Just because of what you've just said, the logical conclusion can only be, that you are fielding candidates.

DECLAN GANLEY: We are hoping to do that, absolutely.

JON SOPEL: You're hoping to field candidates here in the UK.

DECLAN GANLEY: It's very important that the British people get an opportunity to send a clear and unequivocal message that's not anti European, but that calls on Brussels to be accountable. The fact is, is that more than 75% of British law now comes from Brussels.

The people that initiate that law are completely unaccountable, they are unknown to the British people. Brussels is where these decisions are being made. The European constitution, subjugates the laws of Britain to European law, which it says in the Treaty, have precedence over British law.

JON SOPEL: Just want to be clear. Will you scatter gun which constituencies you choose or if you're a pan-European party, presumably you'll fight in every constituency.

DECLAN GANLEY: Well that would be, ideally, that would be the objective but it remains to be seen whether or not we can do that. The key thing is selecting candidates of a caliber that are deserving of people's trust and that can send a clear message. And this is not something that's against any party in the UK, people - whether they be Labour supporters … (interjection)

JON SOPEL: You see the Conservatives would turn round to you and say, Look, we've been absolutely consistent. We've demanded a referendum. We've opposed the Lisbon Treaty. We opposed the EU Constitution. Why are you querying our pitch.

DECLAN GANLEY: We're not querying anybody's pitch. The fact is, is that if - let's take the Conservative Party, you raised them as an example. If they won every single one of the seventy two European seats in the European Parliamaent, from the UK, they would have seventy two seats out of over seven hundred and fifty.

The fact is, is that you have to bring together members from all over Europe, from Germany, from France, from Ireland, from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia etc, because you have to have big numbers in the European Parliament to ensure that this anti-democratic system of governance that's in Brussels at the moment, is fixed - it needs to be fixed immediately and we must make absolutely sure that Gordon Brown's ratification of this Treaty, which is, is appalling, has appalling consequences for Britain and for all of Europe, particularly at these hard and straightened economic times, that that thing stays dead.

JON SOPEL: And a lot of people think that it's not exactly healthy for democracy, to have a multi millionaire, parachuting and decide right, okay, I'm going to make this my pet concern. I'm going to try and force myself on this electorate. Look what happened to Jimmy Goldsmith.

DECLAN GANLEY: No absolutely. Look, it's - and I would understand people having such concerns. The fact is, I read the Lisbon Treaty, the European Constitution as it is and I started reading it as a businessman and I finished reading it as a father of four children, extraordinarily concerned about what I came across.

This, this Treaty means that more than 75% of all laws will come from Brussels. The people who are making those laws are unaccountable to us at the ballot box. We will have an unelected European President …. (interjection)


JON SOPEL: …the Conservatives are making precisely that argument and you've got other parties that take different views.

DECLAN GANLEY: Unfortunately, nobody has been successful in making it because nobody is listening in Brussels, they've been able to ignore these voices because there is no party that has come together in all of the twenty seven member states of Europe to make, to ensure that democracy and the voice of democracy is heard in Brussels. Libertas will do that and it's the only way of doing that.

JON SOPEL: Okay. Declan Ganley, we must leave it there. Thank you very much indeed for being with us. That's it for this week.


Please note BBC Politics Show must be credited if any part of these transcripts are used.

NB:These transcripts were typed from a recording and not copied from original scripts.

Because of the possibility of mis-hearing and the difficulty, in some cases, of identifying individual speakers, the BBC cannot vouch for their accuracy.

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The Politics Show Sunday 15 March 2009 at 12:00 GMT on BBC One.
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