IN the few days that remain before the country goes to the polls, a fundamental point about the Lisbon Treaty will have to be sorted out. That is, what would happen in the event of a 'No' vote? Former EU Commissioner Peter Sutherland touched on this point yesterday when he struggled to find words to express his frustration and concern.
People just don't seem to understand the danger, he finally said.
Those who oppose the Treaty tell us that this is scaremongering and assure us that the 26 governments who are approving the Treaty, representatives of hundreds of millions, will simply sigh and accept Ireland's decision.
Life will go on as before, using the same old structures and procedures that worked for a much smaller union.
Or perhaps, they say, a new treaty could be negotiated which would better suit Libertas, or Coir, or Sinn Fein, or Jim Corr.
At best, a 'No' vote next Thursday would seriously reduce Ireland's status in Europe.
Our ability to address important economic matters such as the financing of CAP would be weakened.
Matters which could be detrimental to Ireland, and which had been dealt with by Ireland's representatives over years of negotiation, will be put back on the table by countries pursuing their own interests.
The notion that the people of Europe would applaud an Irish rejection of the Lisbon Treaty is dangerous nonsense and it is revealed as a lie by reports of widespread concern in the EU at the news that the rejection lobby appears to hold the lead.