President Sir Graham Watson on migration, climate change and Brexit | ALDE Party

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ALDE Party press release

Speaking to Liberals from across the EU at the ALDE Party reception in Brussels yesterday evening, Party President Sir Graham Watson said:

On migration

'While the clamour to reach the EU is a sign of despair it is also a sign of success. For 400 years Europe was a continent of net emigration as our forefathers set off to escape famine, poverty, hunger and oppression in search of a better life elsewere; today our standard of living and our tolerant society are the envy of others. And just as the USA welcomed to its shores one hundred years ago people whose descendants are now Americans, so Europe must recognise today the contribution that talented and ambitious immigrants can make to our society. The EU's home affairs ministers have fourteen days in which to come up with a credible plan.'

On climate

'The predictions about the strength of El Nino, the evidence of sharply falling crop yields and the stifling summer temperatures must strengthen our resolve to see a lasting deal from the UNFCCC in Paris. For Liberals, a competitive economy is key. Climate change is one of the greatest enemies of free and fair competition and we must act to bring it under control and limit further damage.'

On Brexit

'Prime Minister Cameron never understood the EU. His decision to call a referendum is a dangerous gamble which he could easily lose. But Europe must not be so afraid of a Brexit as to sacrifice the essence of the EU on the pillar of British sectarian misunderstanding. My message to our continental partners is 'Stay calm and do not concede'.'

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