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Lisbon Treaty Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Campaign Against the EU Constitution

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Who we are: is a website that is initiated by socialists to campaign for a No vote.
We will include material from a wide variety of sources – some of which differ from our own stances - as long as they are not promoting racist or right-wing nationalist views.

This site has two editors:

Kieran Allen is the author of the Booklet Reasons to VOTE NO to the Lisbon Treaty and a number of other books, including The Corporate Take Over of Ireland (2007) and The Celtic Tiger: The Myth of Social Partnership (2000)

Sinead Kennedy has written on culture and politics, women and the Celtic Tiger.
She is a long standing campaigner against war and for women’s rights.

Both Kieran & Sinead are also members of the Socialist Workers Party

You can contact the editors on: Emergency Apeal for funds. Help us win Please Donate here

Latest 30.09.2009
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 investment.

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 effect.

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

Booklet cover: Reasons to Vote No to the Lisbon Treaty
  • Booklet: 'Reasons to Vote No to the Lisbon Treaty' - Kieran Allen
    to order Send €3 to P.O. Box 1648
    Dublin 8 or bulk orders
    €25 for ten copies.
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