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Mighty Ireland looks to have downed the EU

June 13, 2008

Ireland rejects Lisbon TreatyOpponents of a European Union reform treaty received the backing of Ireland's Eurovision Song Contest...

Last night it seems history was made, early reports are saying that Ireland has turned down the EU, throwing the entire treaty into disorganisation. Politicians In the UK should be ashamed as the People of ireland were allowed to go with their conscience. Our unelected dictator has neither the courage or the honesty to allow us to have a choice in our future. One man of courage and dignity quit over principles last night, the spineless ex-chancellor who still stands at the box and says that he doesn’t have to honour his promise. Even Dustin the Turkey had a say “we wish there was a third box that said what”

Well done Ireland.Now we’ll hear all the bleating and the bullying from the EU to force a re-vote. Below is the report from the BBC

Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern says substantial vote tallies across the country show the European Union Lisbon reform treaty has been rejected.

Tallies are not official, but Mr Ahern says it is clear the No vote is ahead in a vast majority of constituencies.

This would scupper the treaty, which must be ratified by all members. Only Ireland has held a public vote on it.

Mr Ahern is the first senior figure from the Irish government to admit that it looked like the treaty had failed.

“It looks like this will be a No vote,” Mr Ahern said on live television. “At the end of the day, for a myriad of reasons, the people have spoken.”

Earlier, Europe Minister Dick Roche had admitted “it is not looking good,” after state broadcaster RTE said that the Yes vote was “in difficulty”.

The BBC’s Jonny Dymond in Dublin says a rejection of the treaty, meant to streamline decision-making in the now expanded EU, could plunge the bloc into crisis.

In Irish polls, tally counters in each constituency watch votes being sorted and make their own count, giving early indications of how a vote is going.

European leaders have said that they have no “plan B” for how to proceed if Ireland’s electorate does vote No.

“If the Irish people decide to reject the treaty of Lisbon, naturally, there will be no treaty of Lisbon,” French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said on Thursday night.

Declan Ganley of the anti-treaty lobby group Libertas said that if the No vote had indeed triumphed that it was “a great day for Ireland”.

“The people of Ireland have shown enormous courage and wisdom in analysing the facts presented to them and making the decision they have,” Mr Ganley said.

The No campaign was a broad coalition ranging from Libertas to Sinn Fein, the only party in parliament to oppose the treaty.

Confusion

Our correspondent says that many voters seem to have voted No for the simple reason that they did not understand the treaty, despite a high-profile campaign led by Prime Minister Brian Cowen, which had the support of most of the country’s main parties.

The BBC’s Europe editor Mark Mardell on what a no vote would mean

Mr Cowen accused the No camp of “misrepresentation”, saying voters had voiced concern about “issues that clearly weren’t in the treaty at all”, the Irish Times reported.

Turnout is said to have been about 45%. Commentators had predicted that a low turnout figure would suggest a rejection.

The treaty, which is designed to help the EU cope with its expansion into eastern Europe, provides for a streamlining of the European Commission, the removal of the national veto in more policy areas, a new president of the European Council and a strengthened foreign affairs post.

Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, urged all EU states to back the treaty, which is due to come into force on 1 January 2009.

He said the reforms would strengthen the EU to meet global challenges.

Fourteen countries out of the 27 have completed ratification so far.

The Lisbon Treaty replaces a more ambitious draft constitution that was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005.

Just over three million Irish voters are registered – in a European Union of 490 million people.

In 2001, Irish voters almost wrecked EU plans to expand eastwards when they rejected the Nice treaty. It was only passed in a much-criticised second vote.

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One comment

  1. I voted no to the Lisbon Treaty and I am proud of my decision. I was voting for the disenfranchised peoples of Europe who were not trusted and therefore not allowed by their Governments to exercise their democratic right. We were the only people with the right to vote. If we voted “Yes” we would have forfeited this right for the future. Our constitution would have been compromised. Our democratic right to vote on constitutional matters in relation to Europe would have been gone for good. We would have handed this sovereignty to unaccountable Eurocrats.
    Brussels said that “if one country said “NO” then the Lisbon treaty falls.” They are now saying otherwise. What part of “NO” do they not understand? This kind of arrogance and total disregard for democracy as well as their own laws sums up why it was so right to vote “NO”.
    Having the right to vote in this referendum was a great democratic privilege that only the Irish People had and which they will never cede to faceless unelected and unaccountable overpaid Eurocrats. My vote was not just on my own behalf but proportionally on behalf of the 500,000000 people of Europe who were disenfranchised in total disregard to their democratic right to vote by their cowardly Governments. My vote – under these circumstances – was the equivalent of voting 1,250000 times on both my behalf and on behalf of all the people of Europe who were not allowed to vote. This was one of the most powerful moments of my life. Is Ireland the last bastion of people power and democracy in Europe?
    Tom Ryan



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