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Why we may yet regret our decision to say no

SO we have chosen to reject the constitutional amendment. I regard this as a misfortune, but the decision is democratically sound and therefore incontrovertible.

However, I would like to comment on a few issues.

I believe there were only two question we needed to address before the vote. Firstly, is the EU an essentially good or bad thing for Europeans?

Secondly, would the formal acknowledgement of European basic law as being based on international treaties according human rights and responsibilities to all persons be advantageous or disadvantageous for Europeans?

I think the union is good and that human rights law is advantageous.

By voting no to the Lisbon Treaty, I believe we have indicated a fundamental suspicion about the integrity of the EU and that we have chosen to sacrifice the opportunity of institutionalising human rights as being paramount.

The treaty would make it impossible for any member of the Bush administration to enter the EU without a diplomatic passport. European law against the use of torture enables any citizen to seek an arrest warrant on prima facie evidence of involvement in torture.

The treaty would make it easier to campaign against the possible ravages of international capital by institutionalising the right to unionise and therefore the right to organise on the basis of workers’ concerns.

The treaty would make the issues of social welfare actionable areas at national, transnational, and international levels.

And as the details of the constitutional amendment itself made clear, there is no possibility of our military neutrality being subordinated against our express wishes.

The Lisbon Treaty will not go away because we voted no. But we may come to regret our democratically chosen right to reject it.

We live in interesting times.

Henry Murphy-Reeve

Gortamullin Upper



Co Kerry


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