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Referendum in Ireland: Lisbon Treaty – How it will affect…



1. Lisbon will copperfasten the December 2007 Laval/Vaxholm judgement of the EU Court of Justice, which makes it illegal for Governments or Trade Unions to enforce pay standards higher than the minimum wage for migrant workers. At the same time Lisbon would give the EU full control of immigration policy (Art.79 TFEU). This combination threatens the pay and working conditions of large numbers of Irish people. A new Treaty Protocol is needed to set the Laval judgement aside.

2. Lisbon will amend the existing EU treaties to give the EU Court of Justice the power to rule against Ireland’s 12.5% company tax rate if it decides that this is a “distortion of competition” in the EU’s internal market as compared with Germany’s 30% rate (Art.113 TFEU). This low rate of tax is the principal reason for foreign firms coming to Ireland and staying here when they come.

3. It will give the EU the power to impose its own EU taxes directly on us. The EU Prime Ministers would have to agree this and it would have to be approved by National Parliaments, but if that is done no further referendum would be needed in Ireland (Art.311 TFEU).


4. Lisbon is a power-grab by the Big States for control of the new post-Lisbon European Union. By basing EU law-making primarily on population size, the Lisbon Treaty would double Germany’s say on the EU Council of Ministers from 8% to 17%. France’s say would go from 8% today to 13%, and Britain’s and Italy’s from their current 8% to 12% each. Ireland’s voting weight on a population basis would be more than halved to 1% (Art.16 TEU).

5. It removes any Irish voice from the EU Commission, the body which has the monopoly of proposing all EU laws, for five years out of every 15 (Art.17.5 TEU).

6. It abolishes our right to decide who the Irish Commissioner is when it comes to our turn to be on the Commission, replacing it by a right to make “suggestions” only for the Commission President to decide (Art.17.7 TEU).

7. Lisbon will establish a legally quite new European Union in the constitutional form of a Federal EU State. This new EU based on the Lisbon Treaty would have the same name but would be fundamentally different from the present EU, which was founded by the 1993 Maastricht Treaty. Lisbon would turn Ireland into a provincial or regional state within this new Union, with the EU’s Constitution and laws being made superior to the Irish Constitution and laws in any case of conflict between the two. It would be the end of Ireland’s position as an independent sovereign State in the international community of States (Arts.1 and 47 TEU; Declaration No.17 concerning Primacy);

8. It will turn us all into real citizens for the first time of this new post-Lisbon European Union, owing obedience to its laws and loyalty to its authority over and above our obedience and loyalty to Ireland and the Irish Constitution and laws. One can only be a citizen of a State. We would retain our Irish citizenship, but it would be subordinate to our EU Federal citizenship, as is normal for citizens of Federal States such as Germany, the USA, Switzerland, Canada etc. (Art.9 TEU).

9. Lisbon is a self-amending Treaty which would permit the EU Prime Ministers to shift most of the remaining EU policy areas where unanimity still exists, to majority voting, without need for new EU Treaties or referendums (Art.48 TEU).


10. Lisbon will give the EU Court of Justice the power to decide our rights as EU citizens, including such matters as the right to life, the right to strike, the rights of the child, the right to fair trial etc. Ireland’s Supreme Court would no longer have the final say (Art.6 TEU).

11. It hands over to the EU the power to make laws binding on us in 32 new policy areas, such as crime, justice and policing, public services, immigration, energy, transport, tourism, sport, culture, public health, the EU budget etc.

12. It will militarize the EU further, requiring Member States “to progressively improve their military capabilities”and to go to the defence of other Member States in the event of war (Art.42.7 TEU). This would make a mockery of traditional Irish neutrality and any pretence to an independent Irish foreign policy.

“Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly … All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way.” – V.Giscard D’Estaing, former French President, who helped draw up the EU Constitution which the French and Dutch rejected in their 2005 referendums but which is now being implemented through the Lisbon Treaty; Le Monde, 14 June 2007
Issued by The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, 24 Crawford Ave., Dublin 9; Tel: 01-8305792; Web-site: nationalplatform.org; Secretary Anthony Coughlan. Please photocopy and pass on to others.

Freagraí: 3

  1. Dear friends,

    As we all know, the Irish People shall be the only one that will be consulted by a binding referendum about the coming into force of the Reform Treaty on the European Union.

    Those people that had their say on the former Constitutional Treaty, have been robbed of their right to do so on this occasion by ruthless political and economical elites that follow their own agendas independently of their peoples will, silencing it actively if necessary.

    Those same political and economical elites from across Europe will be ruthlessly campaigning for a YES vote among the Irish voters in the forthcoming referendum, spending enormous amounts of money to move their representants to Ireland to campaign actively and coping almost all the available advertising space.

    Though it is without any doubt your referendum, it will also be the only referendum held on the Reform Treaty in the whole of Europe, and we, the European peoples that have been robbed of our sovereign right to decide for ourselves if we want such a treaty or not, feel that the Irish people are PEOPLE, just as we are, and that they should think about what the possible victory of a YES vote would mean not only for the Irish, but also for the rest of us peoples.

    Already the sovereign decision of the french and dutch people in 2005 is being ignored and an almost identical text is being proposed to the Irish.

    A text that can deny us our sovereign rights in europe, as anyone can see is being done, if voted YES, will have superior powers than the Irish Fundamental Law that still grants you this right as the only people left in Europe. You would be voting away your right to the next referendum!!!

    While we can’t have our say about it in our own countries anymore, we can still do all what is within our hands as peoples and citizens of Europe to help the Irish cope with the bureaucratic assault on their right to decide by themselves, and help counter the institutional campaigns of those treacherous politicians that sold us out.

    All over Europe resistance is rising, but we fear it might be futile if it doesn’t focus its efforts towards what is still a crucial battle that can be won, give it some hope that there is still something positive they can do, help the Irish people win their referendum against all odds and repeat what the french and dutch did in 2005.

    Manifestations are being organised across Europe, and a grassroots initiative led by Étienne Chouard, plain citizen but well-known for his influence in the french referendum, is recently starting to organize small locally-focussed manifestations in every town on wednesdays at 18h. The idea is to have them very close to the people that are to participate, and repetitive…

    I thought that perhaps they could be given a more positive meaning than just protesting against what they can not easily change anymore if their efforts could have some influence on the outcome of a battle that has not yet been lost… the Irish Referendum.

    At this moment they are distributing leaflets and identifying themselves through the use of white balloons, and they have also “borrowed” the star-eating citizen of the European Citizen’s Initiative as their logo, and I thought that perhaps they could be convinced at this early stage of their movement to redesign their leaflets so that a part of them can be torn off and used as an conventional postcard to be sent to some unknown citizen of Ireland, “Mr. Voter”. As the message they want to transmit to their local population is similar as what they might want to say to their irish comrades that have yet to vote, either in english or through appropriate graphical and wordless representations… their leaflets could serve both purposes if they allow likeminded recipients of those leaflets to join in the campaign with their small personal effort by affixing the appropiate post stamp to the postcard and send it off to some unknown Irish citizen. Adresses could be gathered from street maps on the internet, tourist brochures, etc., or if possible provided by interested parties as Sinn Fein on a more rational and strategy-oriented basis.

    Just imagine the possible impact… against the mass-media campaign and money-based effort of the professional politicians massively asking for a YES vote, suddenly and almost out of nowhere an unstoppable flood of postcards coming from simple individuals and citizens from across the whole of Europe, adressed to simple and ordinary citizens of Ireland, asks them to consider the way they were sideranged and ignored since the french and dutch referenda of 2005, and how the Irish could be sideranged and ignored after 2008 if they vote into force a treaty that assumes a higher priority than the Irish Constitution and thus ignore the only law that grants them today the right to be the only people in Europe still to be consulted by referendum.

    If only a few percent of the 450 million europeans that feel themselves stabbed in the back by their governments can spare the cost of a post stamp to send a postcard to an Irish citizen… our campaign might even reach first page mass-media coverage simply by collapsing the Irish postal office facilities under the avalanche.

    These postcards could not only be distributed at the different manifestations throughout Europe, but their design and instructions could be made available for download and selfprinting from any web simpathising with the NO movement.

    Only 50 days to go untill the occasion is lost and the less time we waste the more momentum the campagne could build up before the referendum is there.

    Nothing is lost as long as we have brains and do not run out of ideas.

    Another good idea might be to take some chosen extracts from the film that won the Cannes Film Festival in 2006, Ken Loach’s “The wind that shakes the barley”, adapt the dialogues to the possibility of loosing the fought-for Constitution or whatever message seems appropiate to stress in the wake of the referendum, and spread them like wildfire through You-Tube, DailyMotion and similar services.

    Good chance.


    A pissed off European Citizen with some brains left.

  2. […] National Platform EU Research and Information Centre has a good, short list of the risks to Irish sovereignty contained in the Lisbon […]

  3. […] National Platform EU Research and Information Centre has a good, short list of the risks to Irish sovereignty contained in the Lisbon […]


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