“Lisbon will steal your children…”

Our Lisbon essays are ticking along nicely… Seven down, just fifteen to go… The intention is to create a calm space in which all sides a get a fair crack of the whip… But then there are other places… where the truth is negotiable (until the end of the campaign at least)

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  • Mark McGreg


    While that article is pure shite it is noticable that yet again the Yes side is trying to set up a ‘bogey man’ instead of selling the Treaty. Last time Libertas as suspect pawns of the US, this time the catholic right. Why can’t these people just address the issue, sell what they believe in and stop with the straw dog campaigns.

  • Ganley returns to fight Lisbon 2. Story on Irishelection.com.

  • Dave

    A better way to waste a few minutes is to watch Ireland’s Europe minister Dick Roche getting owned by Nigel Farage in Dublin last Monday.

    I almost feel sorry to see the former UKIP leader knocking the little man back down to his true size. Almost but not quite, since Dick Roche has made a sequence of reprehensible statements regarding British politicians and the Lisbon debate that he fully deserved to taken to task for.

  • Brian MacAodh


    Would you vote yes?

  • Dave

    “Why can’t these people just address the issue, sell what they believe in and stop with the straw dog campaigns.” – Mark McGreg

    The problem that most of them don’t beleive in what they are mandated by their EU masters to re-sell to the Irish people. Below are just 25 of the 113 amendments the Irish government wanted to see, but failed:

    1. No permanent EU President. The Irish government wanted to keep the existing system of rotating EU presidencies among member states, instead of the appointment of a permanent President.

    2. No new voting system, diluting Ireland’s influence. The government wanted to keep the existing, Nice Treaty arrangements for voting, which give Ireland far more influence over EU decisions than the arrangements proposed by Lisbon.

    3. Giving national parliaments a say in the election of the Commission President. The government argued that giving national parliaments a say would “bring greater transparency and openness, enhancing the President’s perceived democratic legitimacy and authority.” However, it was ignored.

    4. No obligation to move towards a common EU defence

    5. No obligation to support the EU’s foreign policy

    6. A watered down defence ‘solidarity clause’. The government wanted to remove the obligation to provide military assistance to other member states, and to ensure any deployment of military capabilities be confined to EU territory.

    7. A right to veto decisions on the European Defence Agency

    8. A right to veto decisions on EU foreign policy budget

    9. EU Foreign Minister should not lead meetings of national foreign ministers. The government said that “on grounds of democratic accountability” the EU Foreign minister should not chair the Council, as he or she will be accountable to it.

    10. More power for Ireland over important EU foreign policy decisions. The government wanted to make it easier for member states to be able to stop foreign policy decisions being taken by majority vote. 11. No European Public Prosecutor. The government said there was “No convincing or compelling case” for a European Public Prosecutor, and that the Lisbon arrangements “do not respect the different legal traditions of Member States”.

    12. No new powers for the EU to define criminal offences and sanctions, no majority voting. Dick Roche said that “given the sensitivity of the issues involved”, member states should retain their veto over EU decisions defining criminal offences and sanctions. He also wanted to prevent the EU gaining powers over “the prosecution, trial and punishment” of offenders.

    13. No EU harmonisation of criminal procedure, no majority voting. Dick Roche wanted to make it clear that the EU would not be able to harmonise aspects of member states’ criminal procedure, and said there should be no majority voting for the fundamental aspects of judicial cooperation “given the sensitivity of the matters involved”.

    14. No powers for Eurojust to prosecute Irish citizens, no majority voting. The Irish government said “Eurojust should not have a direct role in prosecutions”, and that the scope of action and tasks of Eurojust should be decided by unanimity.

    15. No FBI-style powers for Europol, no majority voting. The Irish government wanted to stop Europol from being able to carry out the “organisation and implementation” of “investigative action”, and said decisions on Europol’s operation, field of action and tasks should be decided by unanimity.

    16. No new EU powers for common criminal investigation techniques. The government argued the EU should only be able to establish measures to “exchange best practice” in investigative techniques in relation to serious and organised crime.

    17. Less EU power in civil law. Dick Roche argued that EU activity in civil law should only be allowed if it is necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market, but the Lisbon Treaty goes much further.

    18. An obligation on the EU to respect the “sovereignty” of member states

    19. An obligation on the EU to respect its “historic and legal diversity”

    20. An obligation on EU institutions to act “openly”

    21. An obligation to “ensure good financial management” of the EU budget

  • Dave


    22. No loss of Ireland’s veto in social security policy. Dick Roche argued “It is very important to remember that Member States have different social policies and different systems of social security… I therefore… cannot accept a move to the ordinary legislative procedure in these areas.”

    23. No single representation for eurozone countries in international organisations. Dick Roche argued that “At the moment, the most that is acceptable is for member states to endeavour to coordinate actions.”

    24. No exclusive competence for the EU to agree international agreements. Dick Roche said this Treaty provision “purports to summarise the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice regarding the implied external competences of the European Community and to extend it across the range of the Union’s competences. This is not acceptable.”

    25. No new powers over Foreign Direct Investment. The government said this proposal should be deleted. The proposed amendments in detail


    And besides, the government has been advised that it is too unpopular to front the forced re-run so that is why it is being fronted by a plethora of puppet groups such as Women for Europe, Poets for Europe, Part-time Cleaners from Ballyfermot for Europe, et al, and by companies who have a selfish interest such as Intel and RyanAir. Apparently, you should vote for a superstate so that Intel can make 10 billion a year in profits instead of 9.8 billion or so that Michael O’Leary can buy a bigger car for his wife.

    How do you focus on the issue when the actual issue is the transfer of Irish sovereignty to a new federal state? You don’t. Instead, the micro groups have been instructed to treat the referendum as a vote on Ireland’s membership of the EU. Most approve of EU membership, so the trick is to get them to vote for something they approve of rather than for something they do not approve of.

    The most intelligent analysis of the Lisbon Treaty comes from Dr Anthony Coughlan of Trinty College. A must-read for every voter.

    Brian MacAodh, no. I believe in an Ireland that is a sovereign independent nation-state where its people determine their own affairs in accordance with its own culture and traditions. There is no European demos.

  • Dave

    Err, not the Lisbon treaty – its constitutional provisions and the implications and federal nature of its emergent state as presented in the TCE (which is now rehashed as the Lisbon Treaty).

  • Dave

    Brian MacAodh, the proposed amendment to the Irish constitution in the form of Article 29.4.11 expressly states that EU law has supremacy over the Irish constitution. That is what it is: a declaration of the supremacy of one constitution over another constitution. There should be no debate needed about that – Ireland becomes a subordinate region of another state:

    “No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State that are necessitated by membership of the European Union, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the said European Union or by institutions thereof, or by bodies competent under the treaties referred to in this section, from having the force of law in the State.”

    The Irish people will retain the sole right to alter their constitution but their constitution will no longer retain its position as “the highest form of law in the land.” That means simply that the EU can render any provision of it void by, for example, introducing a conflicting provision which then takes priority over it. So, in effect, the Irish people can make any amendment they want but the EU can render any amendment they make void. Indeed, it can also void their right to amend their constitution.

    For the implications of the meaning of that shift from being a sovereign state to being subordinate to another state, read Dr Anthony Coughlan’s article on the TCE. How could anyone vote yes to that and still call himself an Irish nationalist?

  • Mack


    Brian MacAodh, the proposed amendment to the Irish constitution in the form of Article 29.4.11 expressly states that EU law has supremacy over the Irish constitution. That is what it is: a declaration of the supremacy of one constitution over another constitution. There should be no debate needed about that – Ireland becomes a subordinate region of another state:

    Er no. (It’s Article 29.4.6 this time by the way). Like previous articles for EU treaties, it exempts Irish Statutes brought into force by Irish representatives in the Dail from constitutional challenge if they are required to implement EU directives. The Constituition still has legal primacy as that exemption itself stems from the Constituition. Technically in Ireland there is no such thing as ‘EU law’ – it’s all Irish law. EU Directives have no legal force.

  • Mack


    That means simply that the EU can render any provision of it void by, for example, introducing a conflicting provision which then takes priority over it

    The EU can introduce a Directive which would have to be implemented by the Oireachtas. They can of course refuse to do so (as Ireland is still a sovereign nation), in doing so we would be reneging on our responsibilities as EU members. In such circumstances our EU partners may wish to renogagiate the terms of our EU membership (which is fair enough).

    Incidentally if government push through unpopular legislation, an alternative incoming government could simply repeal it – even if it was required to implement an EU directive.

  • Dublin Exile

    The Yes side should be more worried about Alive! than Joe Higgins. This freesheet is handed out at most catholic churches after mass on a sunday or saturday night ( very few clergy have had the balls to ban it from church environs). Despite all the waffle, most of No vote in the north west last time was about Abortion and very little else. If its about ‘sick people being taken away’ this time dont be surprised. The headbangers are out there, this is the constituency that elected Dana after all.

  • Brian MacAodh

    So Mack

    Does the Lisbon treaty threaten or diminish the Republic’s sovereignty?

  • Mack

    Brian MacAodh –

    I think at the moment that Ireland retains her ultimate sovereignty.
    I’ve created a thread here, if you got any useful information to add – please fire away..


    We’ll still have the ability to undo any of this, but like every other stage of EU integration we’ll be giving something more away. And the basis for European law having any force in Ireland appears to be Irish law itself. I haven’t found anything to contradict that yet. If that wasn’t the case, I’d certainly be agitating for withdrawal.

    My own view, is that generally we should negotiate our way along until the rest of Europe proposes to go a bridge to far and in those circumstances we should renegotiate our relationship with them (i.e. allow them to continue but figure out a new role for ourselves, which may be to finalise the existing corpus of EU laws as our own, keep the free-trade area but otherwise go off on our own).

  • Mack

    By the way, a correction to the above. EU Directives can have some legal force in Ireland (apparently only between the state and other parties though, not between two individuals or companies) – but their legal authority is derived from the Constituition and The European Communities Act 1972 (i.e. Irish law).

  • Brian MacAodh

    One can see how it is easy for the no campaign to use simple slogans that are effective.