Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Lisbon: big guns trained on Ireland

It seems the EU has called in its best legal brains to find a way for the Europhile Irish Taioseach Brian Cowen to persuade his people to vote again on the Lisbon/Constitutional Treaty…and this time to come up with the answer "Yes". The Republic famously gave the treaty the thumbs-down in June when it became the only EU state to offer citizens the choice.

Now French lawyer Jean-Claude Piris, head of the EU's legal service, has been put in charge of efforts to make the Irish people change their minds – or else to find another way of allowing Dublin to ratify the treaty without a second referendum.

Maître Piris is the legal eagle who got Brussels out of a big hole in 2005 when voters in France and the Netherlands kicked the hated EU Constitution into touch. He managed to reconstruct the document as an "amending treaty". This, of course, became the Lisbon text to which member states could sign up without the inconvenience of asking their people, with the exception of constitutionally-bound Ireland.

The word is that Maître Piris might come up with a series of treaty opt-outs that might persuade the Irish populace to change its mind. He did this successfully for Denmark when its citizens balked at the Maastricht Treaty. In the case of Ireland, these might refer to the country's neutrality, the issue of abortion and representation on the European Commission. Since the 26 other EU members have ratified Lisbon, Brussels must come up with legal ways of tailoring the treaty to Dublin's requirements without necessitating reconsideration by others.

This canny lawyer might also be involved in formulating a more tempting question for the Irish if, as has been hinted, they are to be asked to vote again late next year. That could take the form of persuading voters that they actually have the power to determine which bits of Lisbon their country should reject.

Equally, Maître Piris might be able to find legal ways of achieving Brussels' dearest wish – allowing Ireland to ratify the treaty without another vote. There could well be loopholes that could allow the Europe-loving Dublin political class to get round its constitutional obligations.

We in UKIP always knew, of course, that the Eurocrats would never take Ireland's "No" for an answer. But we are confident that in spite of the efforts of Maître Piris, the Irish people will not take kindly to legal manoeuvrings designed to manipulate them by playing mind games. They have made their democratic choice and attempts to persuade them otherwise will surely expose more clearly than ever Brussels' fear and mistrust of democracy.


Anonymous said...

Free Europe? Vote YES at www.FreeEurope.info !

JoshONyons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoshONyons said...

Willbert thanks for your continuous spamming, give it a break!