Ganley warns of Lisbon 'catastrophe'


Libertas leader Declan Ganley has warned that a Yes vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum would be ‘catastrophic for the Irish economy’

Speaking on this morning’s edition of RTÉ’s Pat Kenny radio programme, Mr Ganley said Ireland was giving Europe exclusive competence in the country’s economic affairs without receiving corresponding democratic accountability.

Mr Ganley said : “The fact is, that the Lisbon Treaty as it is written - with not one comma changed in it since the last time we voted on it – is not good for Irish business, if anything it is bad for business.”

Mr Ganley was critical of a survey of Irish employers carried out for employers’ body Ibec, which found a large majority in favour of a Yes vote.

Complaining that Ibec was a “proto-semi state organisation” which he said was “funded by companies that are dependent on the State”, the Libertas leader accused the employer’s group of being “inconsistent.”

He said Ibec had a position some years ago that the common consolidated corporate tax base “would be a disaster for Europe – they wanted it to be stopped – now apparently it’s ok”

Mr Ganley said he doubted if “a single one” of the 86 per cent who said they believed a Yes vote was important or very important had read the treaty or understood fully its implications.

He said the Treaty was a “bad deal for all of Europe.”

“This is a grossly anti-democratic act that we are even voting again,” he said.

“There is no will for democracy in the institutions of the European Union. We are transferring more competence in this treaty without getting corresponding democratic accountability back,” he said.

“This is about democracy. It is about protecting Ireland’s economic interests. It makes no sense to transfer exclusive competence in foreign direct investment policy, commercial policy, industrial policy to people you can never vote for or against.”

“We’ve a big enough problem with the Government that we have. If you vote yes you reinforce Brian Cowen’s sellout of this country’s interests to unelected elites in Europe,” Mr Ganley concluded.

Earlier, director of pro-Lisbon group Ireland for Europe Pat Cox denied that the Treaty would facilitate conscription into a European army.

Mr Cox said it was “very important” for the Yes campaign to reach out to women “who harbour” what he insisted was a “false fear” about conscription.

“I’m struck by the number of young mothers or grandmothers, who in respect of their children or grandchildren, harboured - and some of whom still harbour - anxieties about the fear that was planted last year – a false fear – but it was a real one, about conscription,” the former president of the European Parliament told RTÉ's Morning Ireland.

Mr Cox said the legal guarantees secured by Ireland should assuage fears about conscription, which he said was “never intended.”

“That was never intended and now the legally binding guarantees [mean it] will never happen.”

Defending the EU’s foreign policy to-date, Mr Cox said “actions speak louder than words”. In the years since it evolved, Mr Cox said European states have agreed to 27 common missions.

Of the 27 missions, Mr Cox said nineteen were “purely civilian” and eight were of a military nature of which he said all were: “completely consistent with the values of the UN charter.”

“All of those missions were peacekeeping and none of those missions offended any of Ireland’s values. This is the reality.”

“This stuff about militarisation and Armageddon in the minds of various people here has no foundation in the reality of the EU that we are living in.”

“And it is important for people to know that there is a fundamental decency. The union is a union that has sustained peace in Europe and is willing to contribute with the UN and through the UN to sustain peace globally," he added.