Thursday 21 February 2019

Why we must say No to Lisbon Treaty

Ballytivnan, Co Sligo

The Lisbon Treaty is a defining moment in the history of our country. This is a test for the Irish people.

The question is whether we trade the Irish constitution -- Bunreacht na hEireann -- for the EU constitution (Lisbon).

The Lisbon Treaty comprises more than 90pc of the substance of the EU constitutional treaty rejected overwhelmingly by the people of The Netherlands and France in 2005.

The yes campaign strategy seems to discuss the benefits the EU has brought to Ireland and to insult the no campaigners. It is not acceptable in our democracy that the people of Ireland should be driven into supporting a treaty that will bring unforeseen penalties upon them in the future.

The Lisbon Treaty contains new procedures that allow for changes in the treaty without the guaranteed right to a referendum. This self-amending clause (article 48) is reason alone to reject this treaty.

Article 93 of the Lisbon Treaty will allow the EU a say over tax.

Where national differences in company tax lead to "distortion of competition", it would enable the European Court of Justice to apply the internal market rules on competition, where majority voting applies, to matters of corporation tax, thus bypassing our much-touted 'tax veto'.

It would be very easy for any other country to bring a case to the European Court of Justice. Our economic success over the past few decades has been dependent on foreign direct investment attracted here by our low corporation tax rate. I cannot understand why anybody working in a multinational company would vote for this treaty and risk their economic status.

We lose our right to a permanent commissioner on the commission for five years out of every 15.

Representation is vital on the commission as this is the body responsible for proposing all EU laws. Ireland also loses the right to veto legislation in 68 areas, including justice and policing, immigration, ppublic health and foreign policy.

The Irish people still have the power to have their say, but I ask for how long if this treaty is passed.

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