Death of a Treaty
WORKERS, JULY 2008 ISSUE
A YouGov poll of 1,000 British voters, conducted after Ireland's No vote, found that they thought by a margin of nearly four to one that the Lisbon Treaty should be dropped. 54 per cent agreed that "the government should drop the Lisbon treaty and not try and ratify it." Only 14 per cent said, "The government should carry on and ratify the Lisbon treaty in the UK."
Despite this, European Commission President Barroso said, "The Treaty is not dead. The Treaty is alive." EU law clearly states that all 27 member states must ratify the Treaty before it can come into force. Ireland has voted not to ratify it, so it is dead. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said, "They [the Irish] are bloody fools. They have been stuffing their faces at Europe's expense for years and now they dump us in the s***." Steve Richards argued in the Independent, "the referendum and the power it gives to a tiny number of voters in one small country shows the EU is democratic to the point of paralysis."
Axel Schäfer, SPD leader in the German Bundestag, said, "We think it is a real cheek that the country that has benefited most from the EU should do this. ... With all respect for the Irish vote, we cannot allow the huge majority of Europe to be duped by a minority of a minority of a minority." Wolfgang Schaeuble, German Interior Minister, said, "a few million Irish cannot decide on behalf of 495 million Europeans." He also said, "I am completely certain that in Europe, there is on the whole a very clear majority in favour of the pursuit of European unification."
Really? Polls suggest that 75 per cent of citizens across the EU want a referendum on any treaty that transfers further powers to the EU. Majorities would vote No to such a treaty in 16 EU countries, including Germany and Britain: polls suggest that voters in Britain would reject the Treaty by a margin of two to one. As Estonia's Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said, "The no vote is not an Irish problem, it is a European problem. If the whole of Europe had voted, the result would have been the same as in Ireland."
In Ireland's vote, 862,415 people voted No, and 752,451 voted Yes – a majority of 109,164. If we add the number of MPs in the 18 parliaments that have voted to ratify the Treaty, assuming a generous majority of 600 MPs in each, that is another 10,800 Yes votes to add to the 752,451 Irish Yeses. Total 763,251. The 862,415 Noes still have the majority, by 98,364.
So of all the people in the whole EU who have been allowed a vote, the majority have voted No. So not "a minority of a minority of a minority". Obviously the EU thinks that MPs' votes should count ten times more than other people's votes!