Let’s not buy a pig-in-a-poke from European institutions we can’t trust

THERE are several inaccurate points in the letter from Colm Burke MEP (‘Legal assurances not enough to reverse Lisbon vote,’ December 22).

Mr Burke cites protocol 35 to the Lisbon Treaty as an example of misinformation. But under the Supreme Court’s interpretation, this protocol now assures that the taking of unborn human life can be brought about in Ireland, not the reverse.

Do we know what way the European Court of Justice would rule?

How can the Irish public feel reassured if the European Parliament has already adopted the Van Lancker report calling on all governments to recognise abortion as a human right?

With the Lisbon Treaty already a lawyers’ paradise, it is not inconceivable that a way will be found.

Mr Burke is therefore right in saying there is misinformation on protocol 35. However, most of this is emanating from the yes camp. In the meantime, the ‘plan’ now devised by French President Nicolas Sarkozy is pure make-believe:

1. The declarations from other countries, upon which the plan is based, will not be forthcoming, except probably in fudged form.

2. A second referendum in Ireland on the same subject is likely to be defeated by an even greater margin (Among other things, such a referendum will only serve to illustrate that no referendum at all is being allowed to the citizens of the other EU countries).

3. The claimed new treaty (possibly in 2010 or 2011):

(a) Would incorporate retrospective protocols for Ireland.

(b) Partly depends on Slovenia. (Slovenia has a border dispute with Croatia whose intention to join the EU would be the reason for a new treaty). The proposal would be an even bigger pig-in-a-poke than it was first time round. While everybody is being nice to Mr Sarkozy for his (misguided) efforts, there is little evidence of enthusiasm for his plan from EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Foreign Minister Micheál Martin or the media.

If we were to accept such a preposterous idea, in effect, by the end of this year, we would be under the EU constitution, not our own; we would be EU citizens, not Irish citizens, and we would be under the EU European Court of Justice, not our Supreme Court.

And what of the interim? Even by 2010 or 2111, or whenever, there is nothing we could do. Indeed, what fools they’d be to let us have such an option. And what fools we’d be to accept such a con. It would be the con of the century.

President Sarkozy is right to give credit to the Irish Government for its courage in holding a second referendum. Hara-kiri is the supreme sacrifice.

Europe will have to do much better than this.

Donal O’Driscoll

Dargle Road

Blackrock

Co Dublin

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