Sinn Fein’s main message at this point in the Referendum campaign is to Vote No to get a “Better Deal”. But what is this “Better Deal”. According to a Sinn Fein Ad in today’s Indo it is to:
* Secure a permanent Irish Commissioner
* Copper fasten key strategic veto’s on public services, taxation and international trade
* Stop Irish rates of pay and conditions being undercut
* Protect neutrality and oppose the imposition if increased military spending
* Stop using taxpayers’ money to fund nuclear power
* Main the absolute right of Irish citizens to have the final say in any significant changes to EU treaties
So SF give 6 things and none of them can be done. People forget that this is Plan B. Plan A was the European Constitution. There is no “Better Deal”! But lets look at what SF are looking for?
1. Secure a permanent Irish Commissioner
We voted to get rid of this under the Nice Treaty. This is not an issue with Lisbon, we as voters have already accepted this.
2. Copper fasten key strategic veto’s on public services, taxation and international trade
The veto is retained on the second two and the first does not come under a competence of the EU, so a non-isue with this treaty.
3. Stop Irish rates of pay and conditions being undercut
This arrives from an EU Directive already in place about foreign Sub Contractors. Our Government has already agreed to this and is due to be implemented soon here. Voting No to Lisbon will not change this.
4. Protect neutrality and oppose the imposition if increased military spending
We ain’t Neutral, we are non-aligned. No Neutral country would allow another have a veto over its use of military (Five countries have this power over Ireland). Also Neutral states, proper ones like Sweden and Switzerland, have large well equipped armies capable of defending the state. Our Defence Force does need investment! I dealt with the question of Irish Neutrality here
5. Stop using taxpayers’ money to fund nuclear power
Good old EURATOM makes an appearance at number 5. We signed up to this, again we cant change it!
6. Main the absolute right of Irish citizens to have the final say in any significant changes to EU treaties
We will have this right whether we Vote Yes or No. As all states will have to ratify future treaty changes in accordance to national procedures. In our case a referendum!
As you can see all 6 are either impossible to achieve or already there. So what is the “Better Deal”? The Lisbon Treaty
Vote Yes on June 12th