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Treaty is a threat to the pay and conditions of many Irish workers

WITH all the misinformation on the Lisbon Treaty, facts on how it would affect Irish peoples’ pay, say and way of life are needed more than ever.

Lisbon would affect these by fundamentally amending two existing treaties — the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty Establishing the European Community, which would be renamed the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

1. Lisbon would copperfasten last December’s Laval/Vaxholm judgment of the EU Court of Justice, which makes it illegal for governments or trade unions to enforce pay standards higher than the minimum wage for migrant workers. At the same time Lisbon would give the EU full control of immigration policy (Article 79, TFEU). This combination threatens the pay and working conditions of large numbers of Irish people. A new treaty protocol is needed to set this aside.

2. It would give the Court of Justice the power to rule against Ireland’s 12.5% company tax rate if it decides this is a “distortion of competition” as compared with Germany’s 30% rate (Article,113, TFEU).

3. It would give the EU the power to impose its own taxes directly on us. Once agreed by EU prime ministers and national parliaments, no further referendum would be needed in Ireland (Article, 311, TFEU).

4. It would effectively give the EU a constitution which would make the Irish constitution null and void in all areas of EU law.

5. It is a power-grab by the big states for control of the new post-Lisbon EU. The Lisbon treaty would double Germany’s say on the Council of Ministers from 8% to 17%. France’s say would go from 8% to 13%, and Britain’s and Italy’s from 8% to 12% each. Ireland’s voting weight would be more than halved to 1% (Article 16, TEU).

6. It would remove any Irish voice from the EU Commission, which has the monopoly of proposing all EU laws for five years out of every 15 (Article 17.5, TEU).

7. It would abolish our right to decide who the Irish commissioner is when it comes to our turn to be on the commission, replacing it by a right to make suggestions only for the commission president to decide (Article 17.7, TEU).

8. It would establish a legally new EU in the constitutional form of a federal state. Lisbon would turn Ireland into a provincial or regional state within this new union (Articles1 and 47, TEU; Declaration No17 concerning primacy).

9. For the first time it would turn us all into real citizens of this new post-Lisbon EU, owing obedience to its laws and loyalty to its authority over and above Ireland, its constitution and laws. A person can only be a citizen of a state. We would retain our Irish citizenship, but it would be inferior to our EU federal citizenship, as is typical for citizens of federal states such as Germany, the USA, etc. (Articel 9, TEU).

10. Lisbon is a self-amending treaty which would permit EU prime ministers to shift most of the remaining policy areas where unanimity still exists to majority voting without need for new EU treaties or referenda (Article48, TEU). Under majority voting, 15 states could impose an EU law on 12 if the former contained 65% of the EU’s population. In this way, Lisbon would bring about the imposition of laws on Ireland.

11. It would give the Court of Justice the power to decide our rights as EU citizens, including such matters as the right to life, the right to strike, the rights of the child, the right to fair trial, etc. Ireland’s Supreme Court would no longer have the final say (Article 6, TEU).

12. It would remove from the Dáil and hand over to the EU the power to make laws in 32 new policy areas, such as crime, justice and policing, public services, immigration, energy, transport, tourism, sport, culture, public health, the EU budget, etc. As it is, EU laws override Irish law and two-thirds of our laws come from Brussels.

13. It would militarise the EU further, requiring member states “to progressively improve their military capabilities” and to go to the defence of other member states in the event of war (Article 42.7, TEU).

This would make a mockery of traditional Irish neutrality and any pretence to an independent Irish foreign policy.

I challenge anyone truthfully to contest these facts. They speak for themselves and recommend a no vote in the interests of all of the people of Ireland and Europe

Joan Walsh





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