17 Jun 2008

Ireland: people power wins

euflagIreland Votes No to Lisbon Treaty. The Green Party is welcoming the clear No vote in the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. 862,415 voted No, compared to 752,451 who voted Yes.

Under EU laws, if one of its member states rejects a treaty, the EU is mandated to scrap the bill. But Gordon Brown and the European Union seem to be showing contempt for direct democracy and trying to ignore the Irish referendum. Brown saying ratification will continue in Britain.

The Lisbon Treaty is merely a crude repackaging of the 2005 EU Constitution that was mothballed after being rejected by France and Holland in 2005 (whose citizens were barred from voting this time around) See previous blogs here and here.
Tell Gordon to respect the verdict of the Irish people - and drop the Treaty: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Abandon-Lisbon/

Cllr. Rupert Read, Lead Green Party candidate for the 2009 European Elections in Eastern Region put it well: "The remote political establishment of Brussels has had their dream of ever greater centralisation of political power utterly shattered today. People power has won. The voters of Ireland saw though the pretence that the Treaty was a harmless exercise and recognised it for what it is - a further draining away of democracy from member states. The UK Government would not dare put this Treaty to a vote here as the majority No vote would be overwhelming. Irish voters have sent a clear message on behalf of all the ordinary people of Europe - that the Euro elite have now got to stop their grand plans to rule the continent without consent.

"A new democratic settlement is needed for Europe that retains co-operation between states but allows them the ability to make their own decisions on matters that affect their own people without being micromanaged from Brussels. The Green Party opposes the Lisbon Treaty because it would have led to the further militarisation of the EU, as well as measures to promote increased economic liberalisation - which is an agenda for big business, at the expense of local communities. The Green Party favours localisation, instead. Lisbon squandered a unique opportunity to put sustainability and climate security genuinely at the heart of the Union, and failed to bring the EU institutions closer to European citizens. It is a great thing that the Irish people have enabled us to see the back of such a failed Treaty."

1 comment:

Philip Booth said...

On 12 June, voters in Ireland rejected the EU Lisbon Treaty by 46.6% to 53.4% in a national referendum. Turnout was relatively high, at 53%.

However, despite the resounding no vote, EU leaders meeting in Brussels last week decided to press ahead regardless, agreeing that ratification of the Treaty should continue in other countries. They also agreed that Irish voters should eventually be asked to vote again, until they say 'yes'.

Despite claiming that they want to "respect" the Irish no vote, EU leaders across the whole of Europe have no intention of doing so. They are determined to press ahead with the Lisbon Treaty.

Here are just some of the extraordinary reactions to the Irish vote from Europe's leaders:

"They [the Irish] are bloody fools. They have been stuffing their faces at Europe's expense for years and now they dump us in the s***."

- Nicolas Sarkozy, French President (Times, 20 June)

"The Lisbon Treaty is not dead... It is imperative that they vote again."

- Valery Giscard d'Estaing, former French President and author of the EU Constitution (RTL, 19 June)

"I don't think you can say the treaty of Lisbon is dead even if the ratification process will be delayed."

- Jean-Pierre Jouyet, French Europe Minister (Reuters, 16 June)

"I am convinced that we need this Treaty. Therefore we are sticking with our goal for it to come into force. The ratification process must continue."

- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister (Reuters, 14 June)

"Of course we have to take the Irish referendum seriously. But a few million Irish cannot decide on behalf of 495 million Europeans."

- Wolfgang Schaeuble, German Interior Minister (Deutsche Welle, 15 June)

"We think it is a real cheek that the country that has benefited most from the EU should do this. There is no other Europe than this treaty. With all respect for the Irish vote, we cannot allow the huge majority of Europe to be duped by a minority of a minority of a minority."

- Axel Schäfer, SPD leader in the German Bundestag (Irish Times, 14 June)

The Treaty "will be applied, albeit a few months late."

- Lopez Garrido, Spanish Europe Minister (Forbes, 15 June)

"The Treaty is not dead. The Treaty is alive, and we will try to work to find a solution."

- Jose Barroso, European Commission President (Press Conference, 14 June)