Loss of fisheries wiped out membership gains

THREE arguments are normally proffered in support of a yes vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum.

1. We received economic aid from the EU.

2. The main political parties are united in advocating a yes vote.

3. Only left or right-wing extremists oppose ratification of the treaty.

The structural funding we received from the EU must be balanced against the worth of our valuable fishery waters, which we surrendered upon entry into the then EEC. At an estimated worth of €2 billion a year, this sum, in total, matches or exceeds whatever funding we received.

Within the first decade of membership, half of our indigenous manufacturing industries were wiped out due to the rapid influx of foreign competition.

The identity of the main political parties is tied into the whole European integration project and, consequently, in spite of their private misgivings, individual politicians can’t publicly voice their doubts.

Our political leaders are also under enormous pressure from their EU colleagues and powerful vested interests to get the treaty ratified.

In response to the third argument, it hardly needs be said this isn’t a rational reason for voting in favour of the treaty. Does the fact that anarchists and communists opposed fascism make fascism right? Of course not.

Similarly, one need not agree with all the arguments against the Lisbon Treaty to know that it is a step in the wrong direction for Ireland and the whole of Europe.

The treaty is, of course, the European constitution poorly disguised and, according to Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Foreign Minister, is “the capstone of a European federal state”.

In this new federal superstate, Ireland, as an independent country, will have much less power than an individual member state has in the USA.

Michael O’Driscoll

Menloe House

Blackrock

Cork

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