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Friday, June 13, 2008

IRELAND SAVES EUROPE




Today is a great day for freedom! Freedom loving people in Europe and around the world owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the Irish people for voting "NO" on the Lisbon Treaty, which is effectively the constitution for a totalitarian superstate that unelected European elites seek to impose on that continent. It would have destroyed national sovereignty, made national parliaments irrelevant, and has even redrawn European maps with new regions and without national borders. It would accomplish, through bureaucratic fiat, what Napoleon and Hitler could not.


From The Telegraph
By James Kirkup, Tom Peterkin in Dublin and Bruno Waterfield in Brussels


Gordon Brown is under intense pressure to declare the Lisbon Treaty dead after Irish voters delivered an overwhelming vote against the European Union's drive toward greater integration.

In the only popular vote on the treaty to be held in the EU, 53.4 per cent of the Irish electorate rejected its terms – plunging the EU's plans to create a new European president and foreign minister into turmoil.

MPs and campaigners from across the political spectrum called on the Prime Minister to halt moves towards British ratification of the text in the wake of the vote, with David Cameron saying the treaty should now be "declared dead".

The agreement, which would sweep away dozens of national vetoes, must be ratified by all 27 European Union members before it can take force next year.

Opponents said the emphatic Irish result meant the project – described as an attempt to revive the defunct EU constitution – should be completely abandoned.

Mr Brown however, is preparing to defy British public opinion by pushing ahead with the treaty's ratification in parliament. Government legislation ratifying the text is due to get its third and final reading in the House of Lords on Wednesday.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said: "It is right that we follow the view that each country must follow the ratification process to its conclusion. It is right that we continue with our own process."

Mr Cameron described the Government's plans as the "height of arrogance" and accused the Government of "flying in the face of public opinion."

He said that Mr Brown should go to the commons on Monday to explain what would happen now.

"If this is not dead, we must be able to have the referendum in this country so that we have the chance to pass judgment on this treaty and put the final nail in its coffin," he said.

Ministers privately concede that abandoning the ratification, Britain would seal the fate of the treaty.

Mr Brown is said to believe that doing so would reduce Britain's influence and split the EU, with countries like France and Germany press ahead with their own integration plans.

However, his determination to push ahead with the treaty puts him at odds with British voters, with opinion polls showing that most reject the document.

A Daily Telegraph campaign seeking a UK referendum on the text last year gathered well over 100,000 signatories.

William Hague, the Conservative shadow foreign secretary, insisted that the British parliamentary ratification process must be stopped immediately.

"The Irish people have spoken and they have made clear that they do not want a Treaty that takes so many powers from the countries of Europe and gives it to distant institutions in Brussels," he said.

"Despite all the threats that have been made they have had the courage to make their own decision. They deserve Europe's admiration and congratulations.

The call was echoed by Labour MPs. Frank Field, a leading Labour opponent of the treaty, said the British process should stop at once.

He said: "The result speaks volumes. The people in the one country given a chance to vote have clearly rejected the Treaty. The Government must now withdraw its Bill ratifying the Treaty which should now be dead'.

Ian Davidson, another Labour opponent of the document said: "It is enormously significant that the only people who have had the chance to vote on the treaty have rejected it by a substantial margin. Now is the time for a period of reflection."

However, European leaders were making plans to find a legal way around the Irish 'No' vote.

Nicholas Sarkozy, the French President, was working with EU leaders and diplomats to plan a special "legal arrangement" to bypass the referendum rejection.

In a joint statement with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the French leader insisted the treaty was "necessary" for the EU and would go ahead.

Mr Sarkozy assumes the rotating presidency of the EU next month, and at a summit in Brussels next week he and Mr Brown will insist that the ratification process continues unchanged.

British sources said that the summit is likely to conclude that the Irish vote is a problem for the Irish government, not the rest of the EU.

"The Irish government will have to go away and think about how to proceed, but the rest of us will keep going," said a Foreign Office source.

Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, insisted that treaty would not be stopped.

"The treaty is alive," Mr Barroso said in Brussels. "The remaining ratifications should continue to take their course."

Every major political party in Ireland had backed a Yes vote, with opposition being led by Libertas, a small, privately-funded campaign group.

Declan Ganley, head of Libertas, said the vote should kill the Lisbon Treaty.

"The No result is the final answer on this particular Treaty That's democracy. That's how it works," he said.

Even the pro-European Liberal Democrats said the Irish result should halt Britain's move to approve the treaty.

Edward Davey, the party's foreign affairs spokesman said: "Once scrutiny of the treaty is completed in Westminster next week its ratification should be suspended."

Bill Cash, the veteran Tory eurosceptic, said: "Gordon Brown must now abandon the British moves to ratify the Treaty and renegotiate the treaties of the European Union. The Conservative party must seize the opportunity to decimate the government's European police and restore democracy to the UK."

Officials in London, Dublin and Brussels were at a loss to explain how Ireland's approval for the Lisbon Treaty can be secured following the result.

In 2001, the Irish rejected the EU's Nice Treaty, but were ultimately pressured into endorsing it in a second referendum after some sections of that text were re-written to address concerns about Ireland's military neutrality.

Privately, some diplomats fear that it will be impossible to address the Irish grievances against Lisbon, which are much wider than the objections raised to the Nice Treaty.

One senior British official said: "With the Nice vote, you could identify specific problems the Irish had with the text, answer them and then move on. But this is less focused, more a general rejection of the whole project, and accommodating it within the process could be very, very difficult."

Brian Cowan, the Irish Prime Minister, appeared to rule out a second Irish referendum to ratify the treaty, insisting that the issue of another vote "didn't arise".

He said: "The result does bring about considerable uncertainty and a difficult situation. There is no quick fix."



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