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Ducking the Arguments: Spreading Lies
The tactic of the Yes side
has been to avoid detailed discussion on the Lisbon Treaty and to focus
instead of banal slogans such as staying
"at the heart of Europe".
Here we look at some of the scare
stories that the Yes side are spinning.
1. The referendum is about
whether we shall be at the heart of Europe.
FACT: Europe has no heart. The
centre of Europe is Brussels where there is a massive bureaucracy who
are surrounded by 15,000 lobbyists. These lobbyists work mainly for
corporate interests and try to use EU structure to impose "directives"
which directly benefit them. Pat Cox the leader of the Yes campaign
is one of these corporate lobbyists.
Formal decision making is made
by the EU Council of Ministers but after Lisbon Ireland"s voting influence
on this council will decrease. From 2014, a qualified majority of the
votes of the EU Council is defined as 55 percent of the votes, as long
as they represent 65% of the population. As a small country, this
severely disadvantages Ireland.
2. Voting Yes is the first
step to economic recovery - and voting No will frighten away foreign
FACT: Ireland is entering deeper
into a recession than most other EU countries because the political
establishment has adopted a policy of wage cuts and reduced public spending.
This only means that the domestic market shrinks further and people
have less money to buy goods. The Yes campaign is funded by groups such
as IBEC, which has been extremely influential in promoting this policy.
There is no link between voting
NO and foreign investment decisions. After the people of France voted
NO to the EU constitution in 2005 the inflow of foreign
direct investment to France shot up from $32.6bn (€20.8bn) in 2004
to $81 (€51.6bn) in 2005 when the French voted no and also to $81bn
(€51.6bn) in 2006. Opponents of the treaty do not claim that the no
vote was good for investment, merely that it had absolutely no detrimental
3. Voting NO will isolate us
in Europe and cause damage to our reputation.
FACT: EU Commissioner Charle McCreevey
has acknowledged that 85% of countries in Europe would vote no if they
were given a chance. Most of the people of Europe would welcome a NO
vote - but the elite would be extremely annoyed.
Yet if the EU is a democracy,
then people should be allowed to annoy their elites!
4. The Lisbon Treaty is only
about streamlining decisions in Europe after the accession of new states.
FACT: There was no breakdown in
EU decision making as a result of the last Irish vote which prevented
the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty. The EU Commission has publicly
said that the accession of 10 new members in 2004 and of Bulgaria and
Romania in 2007 has not slowed down decision making.
"The EU institutions continue to function; new members of the European
Parliament play an active role in its political groups; the Barroso
Commission works effectively with 27 Commissioners; and the Council
takes decisions as well as before.
5. The Charter of Fundamental
Rights protects workers rights.
Fact: There is not a single additional
right which the charter confers on the Irish people.
Moreover Article 6 of the Lisbon treaty states that "the provisions
of the Charter do not extend in any way the competencies of the Union
as defined by the Treaties".
As if to make doubly sure, the
same article states that the "rights, freedoms and principles in
the Charter will be interpreted in accordance with the general provision
of Title V11 of the Charter".
"But this title says explicitly that: 'The Charter does not extend
the field of application of Union law beyond the powers of the Union
or establish any new power or task for the Union, or modify the powers
and tasks defined in the Treaties