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'No' vote on Lisbon would throw us back to the '50s

Some opponents of the Lisbon Treaty say a 'No' vote will have no consequences for our country and that it is an outrage to suggest otherwise. It is true that there will be no legal consequences: Ireland will not be expelled from the present European Union, nor is there any legal mechanism to sanction or disadvantage us, nor will we be drummed into a second tier of membership below our present legal status.

But the real -- as opposed to the judicial -- consequences of a second 'No' vote will be inevitable, devastating and irreversible for our political independence and for our prosperity.

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