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Commission’s remit watered down by politicians

BARRY WALSH (Letters, June 12) appears to object when I pointed out that the original remit of the Referendum Commission was to “outline arguments for and against” whatever referendum was being held, but that this was changed when we gave our politicians a close call at the Nice Treaty.

The politicians simply changed the remit and, as I stated, the commission chairman, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill, was not allowed to list any of the downsides in the Lisbon Treaty.

So the commission was simply left to write a layman’s guide to it.

Far from being critical of Mr Justice O’Neill, whom I know to be fair-minded and scholarly, I criticise the politicians for watering down his remit and effectively gagging the commission by preventing it from outlining the less beneficial aspects of the treaty.

If Mr Walsh read the treaty he would know it is one of its stated aims to move away from veto voting to qualified majority voting.

In the context of a European superstate, this makes sense, but it also means that the proposed new European army could be sent on any foreign adventure if 65% vote in favour of it.

And, as regards my reference to European leaders going a bit mad, I think we saw a precedence for that in the first 50 years of the last century.

But then history never repeats itself, does it?

John Mallon

Shamrock Grove

Mayfield

Cork


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