The Irish government is forcing the people vote again on the Lisbon Treaty on October 2nd. This is a powerful and far-reaching treaty. It is, in fact, the rejected EU Constitution under another name.
There are many reasons to Vote NO to the Lisbon Treaty. Here are just five of those:
1. You’ll pay the price
The Lisbon Treaty will have serious implications for our economy. That means that you’ll pay the price for decisions made without your consent.
Right now, because of the EU, schools must pay water charges and the EU plans to impose energy measures which would cost us €500 per household each year. We’ve seen EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson coming close to giving away a huge chunk of our farming income. But things can get a lot worse.
150,000 people are employed by multinationals in Ireland. They come here because of our low tax rates. If those low rates are raised they will leave taking those jobs with them.
Other EU countries, such as France claim that Ireland has gained an unfair advantage in having low corporate taxes.
Now Article 113 of the Lisbon Treaty would allow the EU to attack our low tax regime. That would have disastrous effects for Irish workers.
The government is desperately denying that this is the case, but the truth was exposed by none other than the Irish EU Commissioner and former Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy. He admitted in an Irish Independent interview that the EU’s ‘long term hidden agenda’ is to ‘take control of taxation’. The Lisbon Treaty will help to drive down wages in Ireland - and to allow foreign contractors to bring foreign workers to Ireland and pay them less than the Irish minimum wage. This will have devastating consequences for Irish workers, who, in real life, can either take the lower wage rate or stay on the dole.
WAGES AND JOBS
This is happening because the EU Courts have found in a series of judgments - the Ruffert, Laval and Viking and Luxembourg judgments - that the right to earn a living wage is less important than the right of big business to make a profit – even when that means exploiting workers.
In the Ruffert case a Polish contractor was allowed to bring Polish workers to Germany and pay them less than half the German minimum wage. Protocol 27 and Article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty copperfasten these dreadful judgments smashing workers' rights.
Everyone remembers the GAMA case, where Turkish workers were brought to Ireland and paid €2 an hour and housed in shacks. Now because of the EU Court – and the Lisbon Treaty – that would be perfectly legal.
Our government should have looked for a special protocol to protect Irish workers from the effect of this judgment. Instead they have agreed to make matters even worse by handing full control over our immigration policy to the EU under Article 79.
We’ll be forced to accept the common EU policy on immigration and asylum - even when immigrants are coming from countries outside the EU.
Ireland opened her doors to more than 500,000 migrants from EU states following the Nice Treaty. But now that we’re facing an economic downturn, with 450,000 people unemployed, it’s crucial that we keep control of our immigration policy.
The problem is that if we sign up to the Lisbon Treaty we’ll have signed away the right to decide who can come to Ireland looking for employment. That’ll be decided by the EU and it simply won’t matter how that affects us, our economy and our unemployment rate.
FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN IRELAND
Lisbon may also be used to limit Ireland’s right to encourage Foreign Direct Investment – in other words to prevent us wooing foreign companies here with promises of state aid. Given that a significant number of Irish people are employed by such companies, giving this power to the EU is a dangerous step for Ireland.
Our government should never have allowed Foreign Direct Investment to come under the control of the Common Commercial Policy under Lisbon.
The truth is, unless Lisbon is defeated, we’re in danger of losing control over our economy. And then we’ll all pay the price.
Keep our economic advantage : Vote NO to Lisbon
2. Your Constitutional rights will be undermined
Lisbon is the EU Constitution in another guise – it’s just been repackaged as a Treaty because it was soundly rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005.
Lisbon retains 96% of the EU Constitution, and makes it very clear that EU law will be superior to the Irish Constitution. This means your constitutional rights can be overruled.
Declaration 17 on Primacy attached to the Lisbon Treaty makes that very clear when it states that EU law can always trump Irish law in the areas covered by the EU Treaties. The Irish people fought hard for our Constitutional rights and freedoms. We shouldn’t just allow them to be handed away.
Lisbon is such a far-reaching treaty that the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, declared that the EU will now be “an Empire.” This is not what we signed up for. This is a step too far.
Protect the Irish Constitution : Vote NO to Lisbon
3. You will lose more power
Already two-thirds of our laws are made in Brussels. But Lisbon transfers more power from you – the Irish voter – to the EU. We lose our EU Commissioner and removes decision -making from the Dáil in 32 areas, giving you less power.
If the Lisbon Treaty is passed our voting weight in the EU Council of Ministers will be slashed by 60%. Germany’s power and influence, on the other hand, will increase by 100%. Lisbon means our voice is weaker in the EU and we lose the power to be heard.
Lisbon is a power-grab by the big EU states, whose larger populations would give them the biggest say in deciding EU laws. It’s a bad deal for Ireland.
We’re also losing our Irish veto in 68 areas including immigration policy and employment policy.
People you’ve never voted for are interfering in your life:
• threatening carbon taxes
• banning patio heaters
• recording your e-mails and internet visits (Irish Times, 19/1/2008)
Don’t let them take any more power or money from you.
Keep the power to decide : Vote NO to Lisbon
4. Don’t lose the right to decide our values
It is up to you – and the rest of the Irish people – to decide what kind of society we want. But legal experts have warned that our wishes could be simply overruled if the Lisbon Treaty is passed.
That's because attached to the Treaty of Lisbon is a Charter of Rights that it is legally binding on all member states including Ireland. Lisbon makes us all citizens of a new EU super-state and the Charter gives the EU Court the power to decide laws and social policies for all citizens - including the Irish people.
So, if Lisbon passes, the wishes of the Irish people can be overruled on important areas such as the right to life, marriage and adoption, raising children, the right to strike, euthanasia, and on other important issues.
That's how much power the Charter of Rights attached to the treaty gives to the EU Court of Justice. We'd all be EU citizens, in a new EU super-state, and the EU Court would have the right to decide if we should make abortion available, or if we should keep the right to trial by jury, or if we should introduce euthanasia etc.
The Irish government has tried to re-assure Irish voters by saying they have obtained assurances from the EU in regard to abortion and other ethical issues. But those assurances are not legally binding since they are not part of EU law.
So the government then said they would get a protocol on abortion attached to a treaty in the future (maybe in 2011) which would be legally binding. But what they are not telling voters is that any such protocol would be open to challenge in the EU Court because of the immense power of the Charter of Rights. It would be up to the EU Court to decide whether the Charter can overrule our Constitution and any protocol on abortion. Since the EU Court has already found in the Grogan case that abortion is merely a service this bodes badly for Irish pro-life laws.
The fact is despite the so-called guarantees, the European Courts of Justice, not the Irish people, will have the right to decide our values.
We should decide our own laws : Vote NO to Lisbon
5. The EU doesn’t need this reform
Although the Lisbon Treaty is being sold as a simple reform measure, it actually goes far beyond that.
The Irish Government have claimed that the purpose of this Treaty is to streamline the legislative process in the European institutions - but experts say it doesn’t need streamlining!
A recent report by Professor Helen Wallace of the London School of Economics has found that legislation has actually progressed more swiftly since 2004 when ten new member states joined the EU.
Earlier this year, a report by the Science-Po University in Paris showed that new rules are now being adopted 25% faster than prior to enlargement and that the Nice Treaty voting arrangements generally seem to be working well.
The EU is in need of many reforms – but it needs to be made more democratic. It certainly shouldn’t be given a Treaty that allows it to seize more power at the expense of Irish sovereignty and democracy.
In fact, critics have pointed out that one part of the EU in particular is in need of reform – the process of auditing MEPs’ expenses.
In February of this year a secret European Parliament report revealed “extensive, widespread and criminal abuse” by Euro-MPs of staff allowances worth more than €130 million a year. The internal audit found that some MEPs claiming the allowance had no employees or just one member of staff.
According to the EU Observer it is believed that senior MEPs and European Union officials tried to hush up the investigation that uncovered severe problems and endemic misuse of funds.
Other issues of importance
- The increased militarisation of Europe is very worrying to many people who would prefer to see Ireland retain her neutrality. In the referedums on Nice we were assured that a European Army would never happen – but now EU battlegroups exist.
- And Lisbon states unambiguously that: ‘The common security and defence policy’ it proposes ‘shall include the progressive framing of a common Union defence policy’.
- Only the Irish people have the opportunity of voting on the Lisbon, despite a public outcry in countries such as Britain, Holland and France. Just what are the EU elite scared of?