Countries, when they democratically reject EU treaties, are usually told to vote again until they produce the “right” result – something the EU establishment hope will happen in the re-run Irish constitutional referendum on the Lisbon Treaty taking place exactly a month today.
The Irish political establishment are almost unanimous in their support for the document; the leaders of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour all enthusiastically calling for its speedy passage into law.
Any impartial observer will tell you that the Lisbon Treaty is no different in composition from the document – the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe - democratically rejected by the people of France and the Netherlands in national referenda.
Much of their argument in favour of accepting the ‘revised’ Lisbon Treaty centres around the supposed “concessions” the country has won – chiefly, the ability to retain its European Commissioner and domestic control of laws governing social issues such as sensitive aspects of medical research. I use the word “supposed” advisedly, as these concessions are nothing more than oral promises to the Irish government from other European countries as their formal incorporation into the Treaty would require the ratification process to start afresh in the twenty-three countries (including the United Kingdom) who have already given their ascent to the document.
As with the previous referendum, opposition is being coordinated by an unappealing alliance of Sinn Féin Teachtaí Dála and far-left radicals such as Dublin’s self-proclaimed Marxist MEP Joe Higgins. The “no” campaign expects to be outspent by a margin of more than ten-to-one.
Irish referendum aside, a clever question from European Conservative and Reformist Group MEP Nirj Deva at the approval hearing being held for incoming Development Commissioner Karel du Gucht yesterday afternoon neatly surmises the wholly deceptive nature of the EU establishment towards the implementation of the European Constitution.
Addressing de Gucht directly and reiterating the British Conservative call for a referendum on the Treaty, Deva said:
“A referendum would really bring “Europe closer to its citizens” but the governments of Europe reneged on the promise when they thought they would lose. You are reported as saying to Flanders Info in a 2007 interview: “The aim of the Constitutional Treaty was to be more readable; the aim of [the Lisbon] treaty is to be unreadable... The Constitution aimed to be clear, whereas this treaty had to be unclear. It is a success”. How do you square that “success” with your desiring of a “Europe closer to its citizens”?”
De Gucht, who is clearly not well-versed in the often-used (in Britain at least) argument from Labour politicians that the Treaty involved no “fundamental change” in the division of EU/member state competences and thus requires no referendum, responded to Deva’s point with refreshing honesty:
"Whilst the original Constitutional Treaty was technical, and correct, people didn’t read the Lisbon Treaty, they didn’t understand the first word about it. No real debate about the Lisbon Treaty could happen. This was a deliberate decision of the European Council".
So there we have it, from the horse’s mouth: the EU elite are deliberately trying to bamboozle the people of Europe into accepting the Lisbon Treaty.
Outrageous? Yes. Surprising? No.