Friday, June 20, 2008

Why did they vote No?

Many of those here in the European Institutions have been asking, "Why did Ireland vote no?" Margot Wallstrom mad that as the centerpiece of her speech to Parliament this week, and many 'Yes' partisans have asked the same question.

Helpfully all MEPs have just recived this letter from an Irish businessman.


As you are someone in the European Parliament for whom I have a great deal of respect, you may wish to consider the following when next speaking with your colleagues following the Irish Lisbon result.

This is why I voted against the treaty:

1 - Educated, intelligent people could not read or understand it.

2 - Lisbon is supposed to make the EU “more democratic”. Yet only Ireland with 1% of the EU population asked its citizens for their opinion – and only because our
government was obliged to.

3 - Most Irish politicians and MEPs wanted a “Yes” vote like many of their EU colleagues - yet few had read or considered its implications by their own admission.

4 – The French and the Dutch voted against Nice. This is the same document with minor changes.

5 - Extremists advocating “No” told many lies which no sane person would believe. Yet they were the only ones discussing the issues. The Yes people said “trust us”. I don’t as supported by the post-result comments of many EU politicians saying that “Lisbon was not dead” despite what we were warned in advance about each country needing to ratify it.

6 - Lisbon advocates a common EU foreign policy. If we remember pre-Iraq March 2003, could there really have been one common EU Iraq policy for France, Germany and the UK? On the most serious issues of our time, the current EU structures seem

7 - Each country should have full-time commissioner(s) and yes, a simple mechanism should be found that facilitates speaking with one voice in for example, energy talks with Russia. But I don't want one non-elected (by the people) EU president to represent my country in a different manner to what operates now.

8 - I don't want an EU army despite the fact that war is unfortunately necessary at times. While this treaty does not compel a nation – for now - to accept one or contribute to a common defence fund, that's the direction it points and I strongly disagree.

9 - While we co-operate with EU countries, global trade dictates that we also compete with them. I need a 100% guaranteed clause in clear language that our corporation tax rate will not be changed now or ever unless requested by the Irish Government.

10 - Some aspects of the treaty will be clarified "at a future date". I can't vote for that.

11 - Legal experts who have studied Lisbon think (but are not sure) that we will never again have the opportunity to vote on major EU-related questions. Is this true? No-one can say for sure.

12 - The positive and very necessary issues in Lisbon like anti-crime cooperation etc need to happen fast. Why are the obviously great things mixed in with the contentious ones?

13 – Each country’s veto will be replaced with “qualified majority voting” on major issues which is likely to have serious unforeseen consequences for many EU nations. You’ve just seen the value of a veto.

EU politicians’ threats, arrogance and prior refusal to listen to two “no” votes, the credit crisis, immigration, abortion, workers rights, oil prices, inflation, loss of jobs, EU laws and local political issues in no way affected my vote.

I want closer political links and deeper integration with Europe. I did not want to vote “No” as I and most Irish people I know are extremely pro-European. We know it’s where our future lies.

What should Brussels do now? Correct the above, ask all EU citizens to vote on it (rather than getting 27 compliant governments to ratify it without reading it), don't ask us to accept on trust that a new Constitution – sorry, “Treaty” - we can’t understand is ok and yes, I'll vote in favour. Otherwise I’m happy with how things are now.

To those frustrated by our “No”, I respectfully suggest that if asked, your citizens
might say the same.

Thank you for your time

John Ring

I think that that just about sums it up.


Anonymous said...


rz said...

He calls for an directly elected president and for " political links and deeper integration with Europe."

Do you agree with that?

Gawain Towler said...

No I don't but I think he answers the question 'why did they vote No?' quite well.

That is not because he didn't understand the question.

Anonymous said...

"I want closer political links and deeper integration with Europe."

'ever closer union'.

He is contradicting himself, if he wants that, why did he vote NO?

The Europe on offer, is the one contained in the Lisbon Treaty and the 'good Europeans' will have it by Hook or by Crook.

They are completely untrustworthy.