No, But Yes, in Ireland

From the November 2002 Trumpet Print Edition

In June last year, the Irish people voted against ratifying the Nice Treaty—a treaty designed to pave the way for further enlargement and integration of the European Union.

This outcome was not satisfactory to Brussels. In a blatant denial of the democratic process, the EU continued its integration and enlargement process, all the while pressuring Ireland to overturn its referendum vote.

Sixteen months later, the Irish again went to the polls for a re-run. The strategy of the Eurocrats in Brussels was simple. First, don’t take no for an answer. Second, pressure the leader of the dissenting nation to change their rules so as to favor a “yes” vote. Third, flood the media with a campaign geared to brainwashing the electorate into a “yes” vote by spending 10 times the budget of the opposition on a massive propaganda campaign. And fourth, rig the question to gain many neutralists by marrying it with a vote on non-participation in an EU army.

The strategy worked. On October 19 almost 63 percent of Irish voters cast their ballots in support of the Nice Treaty.

The London-based Daily Telegraph expressed the view that the “vote was truly a victory of the elites over the people” (Oct. 21).

Though the treaty is generally referred to as a “treaty on enlargement,” the most significant aspects of Nice are not commonly discussed. “The reason that Nice had to be put to the people [in Ireland] was that it involved a further transfer of sovereignty from the republic to Brussels. Nice abolishes the national veto in 39 areas, creates a mechanism for the most federalist countries to push ahead without the support of the less-enthusiastic members, provides for more harmonization in the field of justice and home affairs, allows for recalcitrant states to have their voting rights suspended and calls for pan-European political parties” (ibid.; emphasis ours).

What’s more, the Nice summit also agreed on “more moves toward EU armed forces and a European constitution” (ibid.).

This is but a further demonstration of the diminution of national sovereignty as, more and more, Brussels imposes rules and directives upon people that they have no say in, in terms of the normal process of democracy.

An indication of the lack of support, in some nations, for this federating power of European Union is the fact that half of the electorates of Denmark and France did not approve of the 1991 Maastricht Treaty on European Union. Denmark was forced to vote twice in order to get the right vote. France scraped in by a just 1 percent majority in favor.

As the Independent stated, in relation to the forced Irish vote, “It is surely a sign that something fundamental is amiss that an organization designed to bring the peoples of Europe ‘ever closer’ should twice have had to repeat a question in a referendum before it got the ‘right’ answer” (Oct. 21).