Lisbon Essay (23): Why Ireland can’t afford the Lisbon Treaty…

Niamh Uí Bhriain of Cóir sites her anti Lisbon argument in the material crisis of the Tiger economy. Nevertheless she notes that “the Lisbon Treaty is not about providing jobs or encouraging enterprise – it’s a treaty designed to centralise political power in the European Union”. She denies there are any short term economic consequences to signing up to the EU, but that in the longer term it leaves Ireland strategically weaker inside the EU… The attraction for foreign firms is primarily related to the low corporation tax levels, something she believes would be vulnerable to a centrally strengthened EU, whose interests are inevitably dominated by the larger beasts in the Union like Germany and France…

By Niamh Uí Bhriain

Right now, two issues causing serious concern for many Irish people are jobs and taxes. To be precise, there are not enough jobs and too many taxes. Unemployment has reached a staggering height, with 450,000 people now out of work. The government has indebted future generations to bail out the banks – who then went on to increase mortgage payments for cash-strapped customers.

Savage cuts in spending are set to hit the most vulnerable hard, and many agree that the largesse of the Celtic Tiger was simply wasted.

The strain of all this on ordinary families is simply enormous, and the political leadership required for recovery is not in evidence. Instead, the government and opposition are joined in a mad fandango which hopes to persuade the Irish people to vote Yes to the Lisbon Treaty.

The following facts are important to remember. Without the Lisbon Treaty, we’re still a full member of the EU, and we can’t be thrown out. We still have access to all EU markets. We can still borrow from EU Banks.

That’s because the Lisbon Treaty is not about providing jobs or encouraging enterprise – it’s a treaty designed to centralise political power in the European Union. But that bid to create a federal super state also

Professor Ray Kinsella of UCD, an economist and expert in banking, was one of the few who foresaw the crash. Now he warns that “Lisbon will not aid the recession, and is, in fact, likely to make things worse.” Here’s why.

Up to 150,000 people are employed by multinationals based in Ireland. Those companies come here because of our low corporate tax rate; something which has long rankled with other EU member states who feel this policy gives Ireland has an unfair advantage in attracting investment. The Lisbon Treaty allows our low taxes to be attacked – with disastrous effects as multinationals leave taking badly-needed jobs with them.

The government is desperately denying that this is the case, but the truth was exposed by none other than the Irish EU Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy. He admitted in an Irish Independent interview that the EU’s ‘long term hidden agenda’ was to ‘take control of taxation’.

And the French finance minister, Christine Lagarde, let the cat out of the bag when she announced plans to push hard to encourage EU states to agree a common method of computing corporate taxes – the Common Consolidated Tax Base. “It has been going on for a long time, it’s an issue that we are determined to push” she said.

The government wants the electorate to accept assurances issued by the EU Council on taxation – and other important issues such as abortion – but as Judge Frank Clarke, Chairman of the Referendum Commission wrote in the Irish Times, those statements won’t change the Lisbon Treaty. They are not part of EU law and are not legally binding in EU law.

And at a time when wages are already being hit hard, the treaty also allows big business to import cheap labour and undercut Irish workers. This is grossly unfair on both sets of workers, but has been given the stamp of approval in a series of recent EU court cases. Lisbon will bring a race to the bottom in terms of wages – a serious blow to struggling families who will be forced to take a paycut or see their jobs go elsewhere.

Cóir’s ?1.84” poster highlights this downward pressure on wages, which is being driven by the EU in support of big business. Quite simply, if the EU allows contractors to import labour to Ireland and pay them the minimum wage of their country of origin, Irish workers face a very bleak future. We’ve already lost our fishing industry to the EU – and that loss has been valued at a shocking €200 billion by the EU Commission.

The EU hampers our right to promote Irish goods, and is now threatening our ability to attract foreign companies here to provide jobs. And under Lisbon , the EU can levy direct taxes on us for the first time; the last thing we need as levies and extra taxes hit our wages and pensions.

We were repeatedly told last year that if we voted No to Lisbon we would see a fall in job-creating direct investment from abroad. But an Ernest and Young report issued in June showed that such investment increased substantially in 2008 as companies like Hewlett Packard brought a glimmer of hope, creating up to a 1,000 new jobs in the midst of the crash.

It’s important for investors to see that we can retain control of our economy. We’re a small country in crisis, and we need to be able to set the policies which can help us to recover. Eurozone policies have been generally set to suit bigger countries such as France and Germany. This meant that interest rates were too low at a crucial time for Ireland, something that, according to Minister Brian Lenihan, helped to cause the bubble.

But the Lisbon Treaty loses us power and influence in Europe. It means we become less influential at a time when we need to be in control. It means our needs will be secondary to what the bigger member states desire. We just can’t afford this bad treaty.

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  • Yet again, we have the spurious claims that Lisbon will enable the CCTB.

    Read the treaty. Ireland retains a right of veto over all matters of taxation.

  • Jack O’Lantern

    The Irish Referendum Must Confirm the Rejection of an Outdated Lisbon Treaty and Trigger a Fresh Agreement on European Union Government
    Ireland is next on the agenda, Germany having safely shuffled off the socialist coil. Germany will be reconsidering its position now that it has shed the ‘centre left’ print money, expand debt, spend our way out of the crisis economic babyishness espoused unfortunately by the UK government. The electorate have chosen reducing and flattening taxes to increase demand and rejected attempts to render its manufacturing industry more inefficient by imposing unaffordable social and state ‘investment’ costs.

    The German national elections’ example will offer support, in Ireland’s second, imposed, referendum on Lisbon, to the view that the Lisbon version of the European Union is unacceptable, not just in its democratic deficit but in its espousing of jejeune economic and financial interference in member states’ policies . It should be remembered that the rejected Treaty was redrafted (to say exactly the same thing) by Giuliano Amato who was the socialist sidekick to disgraced socialist leader Bettino Craxi, and continues to seek to embed a ‘left of centre’ permanent governance over the Union. The collapse of support for ‘centre left’ progressive governance in member states needs to be drafted into any Union-wide agreements to embody and reflect the majority political and ideological stance of member states’ electorates now.

    Ireland does not want to find itself on the wrong side of the sea change in the political and economic stances of the European Union at a time when it needs to keep as much control over choices in confronting the crisis for itself and, at the same time have as much input into collective choices as it can command.

    Further, to reject again the Lisbon Treaty will trigger a new approach to European-wide government and its form. To change their vote now, and accept a Treaty that has been outrun by events would be the worst of all worlds.

  • Greenflag

    jack o lantern ,

    ‘Germany having safely shuffled off the socialist coil. Germany will be reconsidering its position now that it has shed the ‘centre left’ print money, expand debt, spend our way out of the crisis economic babyishness espoused unfortunately by the UK government.’

    Eh ? Not quite . The ‘business ‘ friendly FPD will be junior partners in the new coalition and will push for more flexibility in dealing with labour and tax issues . But Merkel is aware that the CDU/CSU had their worse vote (33%) in decades.
    German ‘manufacturing ‘ and engineering still exists not having been gouged out as per the Thatcher 1980’s formula .

    As Merkel herself pointed out the ‘ Christian ‘ moniker in CDU and CSU actually means something in German politics unlike the God prating that’s found in the USA GOP . She is no Thatcher nor is she a follower of the ‘creative destruction’ school of neo conservative economics that gave the world this ‘mess’ .

    Germany I suspect is going to be watched closely in how it moves to ‘growth ‘ focused economic policies while maintaining it’s legendary social cohesion d becoming more competitive globally . If Merkel succeeds she’ll carry the EU on her back. If not the Socialists , Communists and Greens who together make up 46% of the vote will be back in power .

    For ‘democracy’ watchers the turnout of voters was 71% which was 6 % below the last Federal election . Most of that 6% is estimated to have been from traditional left voters who were disenchanted with the SPD but not enough to vote for the Communists .

    The Germans know the political price that’s paid paid when the entire middle and lower middle classes of large nations are ‘bankrupted’. The world lost 55 million people last time it happened .

  • Denis Cooper

    As its proponents occasionally volunteer, without necessarily realising the implication of what they’re saying, this treaty has been over eight years in the making.

    Not eight years of painstaking negotiations, mind, but about two years in the Convention, as I recall, when the Praesidium ignored virtually every proposal which didn’t fit in with what they’d already decided, and I suppose a year to finalise it up to the point of signature; and then I suppose it was a year before the French and the Dutch stopped it, and then another couple of years before its contents were re-arranged into a new format; then about a year up to the first referendum, and now about fifteen months delay before this referendum.

    Maybe my breakdown of the eight years plus is not exactly right, but I can’t be bothered to fish out the precise dates; and anyway the point is that when this kicked off in 2001, the purpose of this treaty was certainly not economic, but instead its legal contents were above all designed to remove power from the national parliaments and centralise it in the EU institutions, and in part to sideline and disempower the smaller member states vis-a-vis the larger states.

    So it’s hardly surprising that there’s nothing in the Lisbon Treaty which would help to get Ireland and other member states out of a dreadful economic mess which didn’t exist, and which wasn’t envisaged, when the process of formulating its legal contents was initiated.

    Even Wolfgang Munchau, who in June 2008 was so infuriated by the first “no” that he was raving about booting Ireland out of the EU, has now said that he no longer much cares whether or not Lisbon comes into force, because it’s “a pre-crisis treaty for a post-crisis world.”

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9fb71816-a095-11de-b9ef-00144feabdc0.html

  • Dave

    A man goes to a doctor with chest pains and tells his doctor that his other symptoms palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, and intermittent nausea and profuse sweating.

    The doctor, without examining the patient, proffers a diagnosis and a corresponding prescription. The man has a peptic ulcer and he must take one Protonix tablet a day for 28 days.

    A week later, the man dies of a massive heart attack.

    That is what would happen to patient care if a policy of one-size-fits-all was applied to the medical profession. The same thing that happened to Ireland’s economy when one-size-fits-all monetary and macroeconomic policies were applied by the ECB.

    The diagnosis for what ails the patient is wholly disconnected from the medicine that is to be administered since there is only one medicine in the cabinet (unless, of course, pure luck determines that you happen to be suffering from a peptic ulcer).

    Transfer of sovereignty to supranational government is not a progression of a national interest but rather it is an abrogation of it.

    A single currency means a single policy which means one cure for every ill. That is the same in every area of national policy where sovereignty is abrogated.

    This is snake oil. Take your medicine and die.

  • JL

    What a load of irrelevant codswallop!

    27 democratically governments, including the Irish government, have signed the Lisbon Treaty. Would they have done so if they did not think that it was in the interests of their citizens?

    At this stage, 26 Member States have ratified it. Three have still to do so: Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic. If Ireland votes yes, the Polish President has said that he will sign the treaty, it having already gone through all the necessary parliamentary procedures. This leaves Vaclav Klaus, and the UK Conservative Party, as the only remaining hold-outs. And, of course, Mick Fealty.

    If the so-called opinion-formers on the no side wake up on Saturday morning with the result that they desire, they will thoroughly deserve the national hangover that will follow.

  • Greenflag

    Dave

    ‘A single currency means a single policy which means one cure for every ill.’

    So this is why the USA economy and the dollar are in such robust health ? and why British economy is trailing both the French and Germans in recovery ?

    As for your medical analogy . One million Europeans do not go bankrupt every year simply because they need a serious medical operation . Virtually every citizen of the EU has access to health care without fear of having to sell his home or wipe out his savings .

    ‘This is snake oil.’

    We know where the snake oil for the present world crisis was brewed . The USA authorities have been busy these past few months jailing many of the perpetrators who took full advantage of SEC incompetence to ravage the world economy . The list of con men, financial gangsters and thieves from Stanford to Madoff to Enron to the mere several hundred million dollar ponzi pimp jailed for life yesterday is as long as an Irish winter . At least in one American jail an inmate had the cojones to beat the crap out of Stanford.

    I wish President Obama the best of luck as he tries to clean up the ahem ‘sovereign ‘ USA’s finances . He might learn from the French that the guillotine can be a help in removing greedy parasites from the body politic.

    ‘Take your medicine and die. ‘

    ? ?
    So you finally lost it with your eternal copy and paste anti EU rant .

    Davy Stockbrokers are forecasting 4% growth for 2011 for the Republic.

    The Irish have survived worse and we’ll survive this crisis as well . And it’ll be an easier job to complete with the Euro instead of with the Dollar and Pound . The currency speculators haven’t yet ganged up on the pound but it’s only a matter of time !

    The Irish will be trusting Angela Merkel a lot more than they’ll be trusting the denizens of the world’s biggest gambling casino or their political lap dogs of the past 25 years in Washington DC !

  • Did we all get today’s Irish Times lead piece?

    Funding allegations dominate Lisbon debate

    A bitter row over the funding of the rival campaigns has erupted with just days to go before the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty…

    Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan yesterday described as “disturbing” a report that Libertas had received £3,000 in cash and non-cash donations of £13,964 from Crispin Odey, a London hedge fund manager.

    A faint bell rang. It was hidden away in a chance comment in a Daily Mail money column:

    Odey, who recently became cotreasurer of the Conservative Party, clearly is fearful of the damage that New Labour is inflicting on Britain’s economic future.

    So, a senior officer of the British Conservative Party has been underwriting Ganley’s “No” campaign. Add in UKIP’s leaflet: neo-colonialism, anyone?

    Yes: I’ve already blogged that one elsewhere. feel free to use it as you will: no acknowledgements necessary.

  • Dave

    Greenie, the fact that the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, and the European Central Bank all implemented aggressive expansionist monetary policies neatly proves the point that demand side economics aimed at stimulating economic activity by increasing the money supply with cheap credit simply creates debt and not wealth. The implemented the same policies and got the same results. On the other hand, those that avoided expansionist monetary policies (such as Canada and Australia) have no such problems.

    No major US bank has a leverage ratio above 20, but no major German bank (to whom the ECB tailors its monetary policy) has a leverage ratio under 50. The reason why European banks are leveraged to the max is because European Commission regulation (the Capital Requirements Directive) allowed those banks to borrow as much as they liked within the eurosystem irrespective of their capitalisation. That is because the applicable sovereignty is held by the European Commission who allowed banks within the eurosystem to leverage upwards in order to meet the expansionist monetary policy of the ECB which created these bubbles, not just in property but within every sector of the economy.

    The banking sector is the most heavily regulated sector of all and most of the financial regulation in this area is devised by the EU. When the Irish Central Bank held sovereignty over the Irish monetary system and its financial sector, the external debt stood at 11 billion punts. Less than 10 years after transferring the sovereignty to the ECB/EU, the external debt had risen to 1.67 trillion euros.

    When Ireland’s booming economy needed higher interest rates to stop the overheating and the over-borrowing, Germany’s economy needed lower interest rates. The ECB lowered interest rates and the rampant borrowing continued unchecked. Now, of course, all of that 1.67 trillion euros must be repaid. So just as the last 10 years was wasted on spending borrowed money, the next 50 years must be wasted paying it all back. It’s just a shame that the vast bulk of it disappeared in the plethora of assorted bubbles caused by the expansionist monetary policies of the ECB.

    The people who had the sovereignty to stop this madness were the people who were fuelling it because that it what the larger economies in the eurozone required. That is what happens when sovereignty is abrogated.

    Now, of course, the larger countries within the eurozone will recover much faster than Ireland will so the ECB will once again (and it has no option under one-size-fits-all) tailor its monetary and macroeconomic policies toward the needs of the larger countries. Interest rates will rise accordingly within the eurozone, and they will then rise within Ireland. Then you will see all those keys for million euro properties returned to the banks as people who are losing their jobs at record rates realise that they have no hope of ever being able to repay the mortgage on them. There is nothing that Ireland can do to keep interest rates from rising since their bankrupt banks can’t absorb the inevitable policy rate increase from the ECB) and Ireland doesn’t have any sovereignty in regard to setting its interest rates.

    The farce being that when low interest rates were they last thing it’s economy needed, low interest rates is what it got; and when low interest rates is what its economy does need, high interest rates is what it will get.

    At any rate, the patient is now dead. The Irish economy cannot generate 1.67 trillion euros to repay its debt.

  • “So, a senior officer of the British Conservative Party has been underwriting Ganley’s “No” campaign. Add in UKIP’s leaflet: neo-colonialism, anyone?

    Yes: I’ve already blogged that one elsewhere. feel free to use it as you will: no acknowledgements necessary.”

    Nonsense Malcolm Redfellow. The €18,000 was the for Euro elections in the UK. It has nothing to do with the Irish referendum campaign. Meanwhile, “Europe for Ireland” has questions to answer on where its getting its money, notably on links with Brussels lobbyists attempting to get raise foreign money for the “yes” campaign. See here: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0917/1224254716641.html

  • Greenflag

    Thanks Malcolm,

    Odey T

    ‘The idiotic thing is why did anyone want to own a bank before .If you look at the profit margins on a mortgage, they were just 0.3 per cent. It was all about market share.

    Let me see if I’m reading Odey right . The banks were trying to expand market share but this was at the expense of profit ? The only way the banks could ‘expand ‘ market share was by mergers /acquisitions or by exposing themselves to the newly developed ‘financial ‘ tools cooked up by hedge funds and the wizards of Wall St with their CDO’s and CSO’s etc . So the Banks via their new found ‘flexibility ‘ to gamble with ‘mortgages’ found themselves hoisted on their own petards ?

    Odey has a point albeit it’s the same point that an axe handle would make to a severed head by claiming that it was the innocent handle and that the damage was done by the blade only . The shadowy ‘executioners ‘ behind the scenes (those that haven’t been jailed yet) meanwhile are still being paid huge bonuses for their sterling work in wiping out several trillion dollars of American home owner’s ‘equity ‘ .

    ‘That is the time when people should have asking why are we in banks ‘?

    Which people ? Is Mr Odey of the opinion that the British people are to a man financial experts and have always known more than their elected ‘experts ‘ or indeed more than the policy mandarins of Whitehall ?

    I wonder if Crispin Odey’s financial contribution to Ganley’s NO campaign was leveraged to ‘jackpot ‘ should the No’s win 😉

    A very odd sum that 13,964 . Did they have e party whip , whip around at Conservative Party Headquarters at lunch ?

    Neo colonialism I don’t think so . More of a desperate effort to turn back the clock .

  • Funny thing, FutureTaoiseach @ 10:36 PM. You must be the first person (apart from unsupported assertions by the man himself) who’s unscrewed the inscrutable and plumbed the curious finances of Libertas.

    That issue continues to intrigue many, including the Financial Times. Cedarlounge has been on-the-ball, as well: for instance wondering how €1.3M in the real world = €0.8M in Ganley money.

    What we mere mortals have to go on is that Ganley shifts funds around as it suits him: remember Poland?

    Note, too, that Lenihan (who just might have privileged information) doesn’t concur with you.

    Now, from your unique knowledge, can you answer all those outstanding questions on the topic (such as in the several threads on politics.ie)? A grateful populace awaits.

  • I’m surprised Brian Lenihan can lecture other parties on funding with a straight face given the litany of disgraced politicians from his party over the last 11 yrs of the Tribunals.

  • Wilde Rover

    A bit of a threadjack, but check out the Czechs:

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/lisbon-treaty/czech-senators-challenge-lisbon-treaty-in-constitutional-court-1899610.html

    I suppose when you are only getting used to the idea of sovereignty it is a difficult thing to surrender.

  • No need to regret any “threadback”, Wilde Rover @ 03:55 AM: it follows directly from the last few postings.

    The Czech Senators are, as I understand it, members of the Občanská demokratická strana [Civic Democratic Party: ODS]. The ODS is the party of President Vaclav Klaus (climate change denier), and former Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek (photographed, nude, in full upstanding manly pride at Berlusconi’s pool-side, tart-infested booze-up). It should go without saying the ODS are Cameron’s new-found Euro-Parliamentary friends in the “Movement for European Reform”.

    It doesn’t take too much stretching of the imagination to see this as another, and rather desperate, Europhobic ploy: even Radio Praha describe it as a “tactic”. Last year, the ODS essayed the same route: after five months the Constitutional Court ruled out all seven of their quibbles. Curious that this one comes into play just as the hope of an Irish “No” vote seems to be evaporating: Klaus had promised to sign the Treaty, agreed by the Czech Parliament last May, as soon as the Irish vote was settled. It must be mere coincidence, too, that this lets Cameron off another self-impaled hook, at least over his Conference next week.

    The Czechs are, naturally, fully entitled to their own domestic spats. My objection starts and ends when British politicians, for purely British parochial ends, start to manipulate the politics of other European nations. Particularly so when it is aided by large wads of cash (Cf: UKIP, Odey, and Ganley from the Watford Gaeltacht) acquired by dubious means.

  • Denis Cooper

    I’d largely agree with you, Malcolm, about:

    “My objection starts and ends when British politicians, for purely British parochial ends, start to manipulate the politics of other European nations.”

    Or maybe not so much “manipulate”, as “exploit”.

    You can see another picture of Topolanek, not nude with tarts, but fully clothed and shaking the hand of another fully clothed person who in his youth was an avowed Maoist, here:

    http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/news/zpravy/czechs-might-lose-seat-in-european-commission-topolanek/400031

    Does the warning that

    “The Czech Republic might lose a seat in the European Commission if President Vaclav Klaus did not sign the Lisbon treaty and if senators filed a complaint against it with the Constitutional Court”

    ring any bells?

    It was one thing for the British armed forces to seek and accept Irish volunteers during the Second World War; and it was another thing for the Royal Air Force to accept, retrain and equip escaped Czech pilots so that they could fight in the Battle of Britain, as they did with great bravery and success and honour.

    But it’s something entirely different, and in my eyes entirely despicable, when the shifty, cowardly, leaders of the British Tory party are prepared to use an ally in a foreign country, and are even prepared see that small and rather poor country descend into a constitutional crisis, just so that they can avoid the party split which would ensue from the leader doing what he should do, and would have done long ago if he was any kind of statesman – pledge that as Prime Minister he would hold a British referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, no matter what had happened about it in other countries.

  • May I update my earlier Malcolm Redfellow @ 09:10 AM?

    First, when I posted that, I had not seen the front-page of today’s Irish Times , so others may have had a sense of déjà vu.

    Second, I now see that Charlemagne, the Economist’s commentator on things European, put up an on-line piece last evening:

    Wherever senior EU types gather, the talk is of how best to put pressure on [President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic] to sign the Lisbon treaty, easing its path to final ratification—assuming that the Irish vote Yes to Lisbon in a referendum this Friday. I hear that the latest wheeze being discussed is an emergency EU leaders’ summit, perhaps as early as next week, essentially designed to put pressure on Mr Klaus to buckle and sign…

    The idea of the emergency summit is being pushed forcefully by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, I am told. In his view, if the Irish vote No, an emergency summit is indispensable. And if the Irish vote Yes, it would be unforgivable for EU leaders to wait until a scheduled summit at the end of October before meeting to discuss the swift ratification of Lisbon.

    … the Czech former prime minister, Mirek Topolanek, has warned his countrymen that the Czech Republic risks losing its EU commissioner in the next commission if Mr Klaus refuses to sign…

    Will any of this external pressure work on Mr Klaus? I wonder. Well-informed types in Prague suggest the most effective pressure on him is the threat of being impeached for failing to perform his duties as president.

  • Ania

    The essay is true and correct. The Lisbon Treaty is about centralisation of political and economical power in hands of unelected and unaccountable “Commisars”.

    Haven’t you noticed that most of them come from far-left or even communist movements, have you?
    I know what I’m writing about.
    I’ve lived most of my life under such “democratic” rules. My country was governed for over 50 years by soviet decrees issued in Moscow.

    Do you really believe that there is going to be a difference between the past soviet’ and fresh new EU Commision’ decrees?
    Haven’t you noticed any of their recent decisions?
    How about prohibiting any financial help to polish shipyards (circa 40000 jobs) and, instead, allowing! our goverment to “help” DELL. Won’t the latter smash a few thousands jobs from your country? Is this a free market economy?
    Do you think Poles don’t know what’s going on? Do you think we’re proud of it? It’s humilating for us, as it was in the past.

    Mr. Gallagher read the Treaty, please.
    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I constantly notice that people do not understand that passing their sovereign powers to anybody is nothing less than loosing a nation state’s indepence. With the Treaty you, Irish, will pass additional 105 areas of your own interest to be governed by Brussels.

    I know that you’re given some vows. But no one need to be a rocket scientist to observe that these are empty promises. Regulations which are not introduced in written to any international treaty; which are not agreed and signed by ALL parties of the treaty are not valid. They do not exist. It’s so simple.

    Mr. Cooper, a possibility of Czech’ loosing seat in EU Commision is not a warning. It’s a blackmail in its purest form. Do you think that such should have place in a democratic “Super State”?
    You should be grateful for having certain regulations in Irish constitution. Thanks to them you’re still allowed to vote on this treaty.

    Poles, as 25 other nations, have been devoid of their right to vote on this pile of paper. You are going to vote again, despite previous rejection. Is this democratic?
    Think about it now. Think about it before your own constitution will become a “pin-up poster” from the past.

    With my warmest regards.

    ps. Please forgive me breaking English. It’s not my native language, for obvious reason. 🙂

  • Denis Cooper

    ania,

    I’m British, not Irish; and as we have a constitution which is founded on the legal supremacy of Parliament, which is partly written but partly based on long accepted unwritten conventions – in this case, most importantly, the convention that elected politicians will honestly use their best endeavours to fulfill the most important promises they put in their election manifesto – we have been cheated out of our promised referendum by the deceitful scum we mistakenly elected.

    Anyway, well done on your English, and especially your knowledge of the word “blackmail”, which well describes one aspect of the EU approach to both Ireland and the Czech Republic.