There is no real choice . . . . . . vote YES to show our commitment to a shared ambition for the citizens of Europe
Yes, I am strongly in favour of voting YES in the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in early October.
In no particular order
– the Irish people have benefited from being members of the European Union through
- infrastructural funding of billions
- a “common market” where we trade
- a “common market” where we work
- involvement in institutions where we have a greater influence then our size dictates
- democratic participation in the EU parliament and representation of our elected government in the EU Councils
- we have become one of the major locations of foreign investment by US companies
- our participation in peace keeping in Bosnia and the Sudan
- we have gained by EU laws for Irish workers, protecting rights
- we have gained by EU laws for all our citizens, protecting human rights
- our environment has been safeguarded
- the economic dependence on the UK has been lessened
- being part of the Euro zone has limited the effect of the property led recession in Ireland (see Iceland’s experience)
Q. Is the European Union perfect? A. Far from it, but what are the options for a small island economy/country which has to gain it’s income from exporting. There is not a large enough economic base in Ireland.
Q. Can we vote NO and still be part of the EU? Yes, but voting NO demonstrates our lack of commitment to the EU for the future. It shows selfishness in that we have gained much, why should the other newer members not gain in the future?
Q. Declan Ganley appears reasonable in his comments, doesn’t he? I have no time for this guy; he parachuted into the last referendum with undisclosed financial backing, lost an election to the European parliament and then vowed not to be involved again. And he’s back.
His agenda is unclear, seems partly libertarian, certainly he holds a US type of right wing ideology, and is anti everything that the EU does to develop as a political and economic bloc of states. Possibly he sees the US (under Bush) as the leader of the free world and free market and does not care for a different world vision portrayed by Europe? By accident he is Irish by birth, by conviction he carries a US inspired ideological banner, by attitude he is anti European.
Q. And the other opponents COIR, PANA, Socialist Party, Sinn Fein etc.? A. they could be described as the jetsam and flotsam of all sides of the political spectrum. All posing the “when did you stop beating your wife” question to create doubt and distrust about the EU, and none of them describing what their real agendas are. None are pro European and all share a Euroskeptic (though very different!) perspective.
For further illumination see Mick O’Leary’s statement of the facts as he sees them on this entertaining video
Billy Linehan of Celtar management consultants, 15 September 2009