I am going to keep this simple.
Firstly, as I am sure people following the progress of the Lisbon Treaty will know, Ireland is the only country in the European Union who’s Constitution requires the ratification of the Treaty to be put to a public vote. Good. The re-wording of the original European Constitution to a Treaty in reality changes nothing of its content as the orignal Constitution is for all intents and purposes, intact in the Lisbon Treaty, albeit hidden. Disagree?
How about from the mouths of those whom one would expect to know, starting with the architect of the original Constitution, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who states, in the Telegraph, 27 June 2007;
“This text is, in fact, a rerun of a great part of the substance of the Constitutional Treaty.”
He also appears in the Telegraph again where it is stated;
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the architect of the abandoned European Constitution, has admitted that the document has been rewritten by EU leaders in a different order just to avoid the need for referendums.
He made clear that the purpose of the rewritten Treaty (now called the Lisbon Treaty) was to make people think the new version did not merit being put to the people in referendums.
“Above all, it is to avoid having referendums thanks to the fact that the articles are spread out and constitutional vocabulary has been removed,” he added.
Here some more quotes, from an earlier article of mine;
“The substance of the Constitution is preserved. That is a fact.”
(Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, Telegraph, 29 June 2007)
“We have not let a single substantial point of the Constitutional Treaty go… It is, without a doubt, much more than a treaty. This is a project of foundational character, a treaty for a new Europe.”
(Jose Zapatero, Spanish Prime Minister, speech, 27 June 2007)
“90 per cent of it is still there… these changes haven’t made any dramatic change to the substance of what was agreed back in 2004.”
(Bertie Ahern, Irish Taoiseach, Irish Independent, 24 June 2007)
The European Commission
“It’s essentially the same proposal as the old Constitution.”
(Margot Wallstrom, EU Commissioner, Svenska Dagbladet, 26 June 2007)
And so on… So yes, it is all still there, just a different lick of paint and buried in other documents you have probably never read either.
But what is there exactly? What does the Lisbon Treaty mean for Brussels, and for its member states (who apart from Ireland, were all refused a say on the Treaty because the People were overwhelmingly against it).
In a nutshell;
An analysis by Prof. Anthony Coughlan
Today the European Union leaders signed the Lisbon Treaty. This treaty gives the EU the constitutional form of a state. These are the ten most important things the Lisbon Treaty does:
1. It establishes a legally new European Union in the constitutional form of a supranational European State.
2. It empowers this new European Union to act as a State vis-a-vis other States and its own citizens.
3. It makes us all citizens of this new European Union.
4. To hide the enormity of the change, the same name – European Union – will be kept while the Lisbon Treaty changes fundamentally the legal and constitutional nature of the Union.
5. It creates a Union Parliament for the Union’s new citizens.
6. It creates a Cabinet Government of the new Union.
7. It creates a new Union political President.
8. It creates a civil rights code for the new Union’s citizens.
9. It makes national Parliaments subordinate to the new Union.
10. It gives the new Union self-empowerment powers.
The complete article (which should definitely be read) is revealingly named ‘These Boots Are Gonna Walk All Over You‘ and is located here.
So, what to do? Your government is telling you to vote Yes (although they would much rather just refused you a vote altogether), many unions and groups are campaigning against the Treaty, not sure what you are going to do? Firstly, I strongly suggest you use your vote. This Treaty will give the EU superior powers over all of your Laws (including your Constitution). This is a FACT. The European Union is just dying to expand the EU into North Africa and accelerate its expansion. Also a FACT. The French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner is currently threatening Ireland at the prospect of you guys and gals kicking the elitists in Brussels where it hurts. Apparently;
Mr Kouchner said that a “No” vote would be met by “gigantic incomprehension” in the rest of Europe.
That is a lie. It is also a blanket statement made by one politician who claims to speak for Europe which is strange considering the Lisbon Treaty was crafted specifically to stop the People having a say on it. He is just trying to use the spectre of Europe as a battering ram to frighten you into capitulating to the demands of Brussels. In truth however;
75% of people in the EU want a referendum on any new treaty which gives more powers to the EU. In the UK, 83% would want a vote to be held. A majority in all 27 countries would want a referendum.
Which brings me to my final points. The first is, what is so democratic and freedom-loving about threatening countries who may disagree with the EU? The little dictator-in-training continued;
“It would be very, very, very troubling…that we could not count on the Irish, who themselves have counted a lot on Europe’s money,”
So the EU was just pretending to be helpful, when in reality it was trying to set Ireland up to leverage power from them in the future. Sounds like the antics of a loan shark doesn’t it? This brings me to my final point.
Whether you currently think Yes or No, there is a 99.9% change that you do not really know what is in the Treaty. I don’t mean you couldn’t understand it, I just mean that you haven’t read it. This is not surprising considering the EU is refusing to allow member governments to publish readable versions of the Treaty until it is completely ratified!
So when you go to vote, just imagine you are in a bank to sign a contract on a home you already own. The suit across the table is trying to convince you to sign it. The document you have is literally unreadable. You are not sure what is in it, but you do know that at the very least it will result in massive changes in the way you can govern your own home. You don’t know how though. You don’t know how much it will cost in the future or what direction it will take either. But you do know that signing this contract means the rules you used to live by will now become secondary to the rules of that Bank. But you don’t know what the Bank’s rules are. You do know that the Banks accounts have not been signed off for at least the past 14 years because of rampant corruption and misuse of funds. You do know that a very large number of people are against the EU’s legal framework and the Lisbon Treaty. You do know that the contract contains a self amendment clause (Article 48) which will enable them to;
give the EU powers to amend its own treaties, without recourse to an intergovernmental conference or a new Treaty. It is also unclear whether this ‘simplified revision procedure’ would be subject to a referendum.
These are some other things you do know, from the National Platform EU Research and Information Centre via Wise Up Journal (each point in explained in detail in the source article);
1. Lisbon makes the EU Constitution superior to the Irish Constitution in all areas of EU law.
2. Lisbon gives the EU the constitutional form of a supranational European Federal State and turns Ireland and the other Member States into regions or provinces of this Federation.
3. Lisbon shifts influence over law-making and decision-taking in the EU towards the Big States and away from the smaller ones like Ireland.
4. Lisbon removes Ireland’s right to a permanent EU Commissioner.
5. Lisbon deprives the Irish Government of its right to decide who Ireland’s Commissioner would be when it comes to our turn to be on the Commission.
6. Lisbon gives the European Union the power to make laws in 32 new areas that are removed from the Dail and other National Parliaments.
7. Lisbon is a self-amending Treaty which would open the way to harmonising Ireland’s company taxes.
8. Lisbon gives the EU the power to decide our human and civil rights.
9. Lisbon provides that if one-third of National Parliaments object to the Commission’s proposal for an EU law, the Commission must reconsider it, but not necessarily abandon it.
10. Lisbon militarizes the EU further.
Finally, if you think you can just opt out of it afterwards, think again;
David Cameron yesterday said it would be “almost impossible” to have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if it was already law in the UK and the rest of the EU.
So, would you still sign that contract or refuse to do so until you can appreciate the number of changes it may make and what the effects of those changes could be on your life and that of your community?