Ireland’s 100 Reasons to Vote ‘No’ to the Lisbon treaty
1. The European Union has already created massive pockets of unemployment, with countries such as Spain – who have ratified Lisbon – suffering with unemployment rates of 18%. Why should Ireland sign up to a failing European Union?
2. About 450,000 people are unemployed, crushed by cuts, taxes, mortgage payments, on top of public bank-bail-outs and yet, the politicians who brought this upon Ireland are also asking for trust over the Lisbon treaty.
3. MEPs claim up to €1,000,000 in expenses each term, while massive job losses continue on an everyday basis.
4. Ireland remains a full member of the EU without the Lisbon treaty, and is in fact economically and politically better off without the treaty.
5. If Ireland votes No, she will continue to have access to Europe’s single market – the Lisbon treaty is concerned more with intensifying European government, using a constitutional document, which will crush trade, jobs and industry in Ireland .
6. Foreign investment has actually increased since Ireland voted No last year.
7. Under the Lisbon treaty, the EU can levy taxes on Ireland for the first time.
8. 150,000 Irish jobs, at least, are under threat through direct employment in multinational companies. Since Lisbon will interfere in taxation and the low corporate tax rate, those multinationals will simply leave for lands with lower corporate tax rates.
9. Lisbon will not aid the recession – to the contrary, it will make it worse.
10. The Lisbon treaty allows big business to import cheap labour and undercut Irish workers, in much the same way as it has done in labour disputes in the UK and the Nordic countries.
11. The EU has created a programme for Ireland to cut public spending, enforcing tough cuts on ordinary people who are trying to make a living wage in difficult times.
12. As Minister Brian Lenihan has said, massive and uncontrolled immigration of EU labour into Ireland helped to c au se the crash. Overseas workers now make up almost 20% of Ireland ’s unemployed.
13. Lisbon hands full control over immigration and asylum policy to the EU, under Article 79, for workers inside and outside the EU – from England to India .
14. EU politicians have falsely assured people that on Lisbon, they are protected from EU changes to the law on abortion, taxation and defence, but those assurances are not part of the Lisbon treaty (Judge Frank Clark, Chairman of the Referendum Commission) and are not EU law – so Lisbon would in fact lead to changes on abortion, taxation and defence.
15. Under the Charter of Fundamental Rights, attached to the treaty, the EU Court will decide on laws relating to abortion, raising children, marriage and euthanasia. It removes the voice of the Irish people on those issues.
16. Lisbon weakens Ireland in the European Union: while countries such as Germany double their voting power to 17%, Ireland ’s voting power will be reduced from 2% to 0.8%. It means Ireland will have no say over key issues.
17. Lisbon would drastically reduce Ireland ’s place in the European Union. It would reduce Ireland ’s representation leaving her completely isolated. There are new provisions to put EU law-making on a pure population size basis, just as in any unitary or federal state. At present, big states have 29 votes each in making EU laws and Ireland has 7 – a ratio of 4 to 1. Under Lisbon , EU laws would be made by a majority of the EU member states as long as they have 65% of the total EU population between them. Instead of the big states having 4 times Ireland’s voting weight, as it is now, this change to a pure population basis would give Germany 20 times Ireland’s weight and France, Britain and Italy 15 times each.
18. Lisbon means that Ireland loses the right to veto harmful measures in over 60 areas. If a proposal comes up that Ireland cannot abide by, it will not have the power to block it, as she will have given up her veto.
19. The treaty is a new European Constitution, which by law, will have superiority over the Irish Constitution. If it is accepted, the Irish people will give up their constitutional rights under the Irish Constitution and be subject to very different constitutional arrangements under the European Constitution.
20. Under Lisbon, Europe assumes a new position over Irish national security: Article 61F pushes for the development of Super-Union cooperative arrangements, under which, the drive towards federalist cooperation is first supported actively by the Union for measures going beyond EU law, and second that such super-Union cooperative agreements will in turn become EU law.
21. Ireland will abandon its traditional criminal justice procedures, since the Lisbon treaty will establish a massive and “fundamental change” to the structure of the European Union: it will abolish the pillar structure and move police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters to the EC treaty, thus enabling Ireland’s police and justice system to be fully subject to Union interference. This will have serious implications bec au se decision-making on police and judicial cooperation would no longer be intergovernmental and it will be subjected to European decisions.
22. European Commission proposals on inheritance law would prevent farmers passing on family farms as a single working unit. If the Lisbon treaty is ratified, that will come into effect.
23. The loss of the state’s veto on trade and services such as health and education in the Lisbon treaty would lead to a significant weakening of the protection for public services.
24. Ireland ’s EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy claimed that that 95% of EU member states would have voted No like Ireland did, had the treaty been put to a vote in other countries.
25. A Yes vote would not only jeopardise farm succession rights but would also lead to a massive influx of Turkish farmers into the European Union.
26. The Lisbon vote is also a vote on Turkish accession. It allows for a country of 75 million people to enter the EU, which would in fact double the number of farmers Ireland has, while also retaining the Common Agricultural Policy budget at existing levels.
27. The Secretary-General of the Commission, who is an Irishwoman, Catherine Day, was instrumental in concealing from the general public the intention of the European Commission to harmonise inheritance and succession law.
28. The European Commission interfered directly throughout Irelands’ referendum process and even through the use of a web-site, particularly with critical comments on the ‘Farmers for No’, a group breaking away from the Irish Farmers’ Association, which is backing a Yes vote.
29. Is a Yes vote not merely a reflection of big finance from companies such as US multinational, Intel, spending several hundred thousand euros backing the Yes campaign?
30. Irish fishermen will continue to having to struggle to survive financially while being forced to dump their catches at sea bec au se of fishing quotas, and have higher operating costs bec au se of the rules under the Common Fisheries Policy.
31. Brussels ’ fishery policies blatantly favour non-EU imports and fleets of larger EU member states.
32. The Lisbon vote is not about being at the heart of Europe or about being good Europeans. It is about the kind of Europe that Ireland wants.
33. Lisbon will be implemented to limit Ireland ’s right to encourage Foreign Direct Investment, interfering in both tax advantages offered to foreign companies as well as conditions on state aid. Given the substantial number of Irish people employed by foreign companies in Ireland , handing over all this power to the EU is a dangerous step for Ireland .
34. Declaration 17 on Primacy, attached to the Lisbon treaty, makes transparent that EU law succeeds Irish law in all existing and new areas covered by the Treaties, giving away and transferring Ireland ’s historic and democratic constitutional rights and freedoms.
35. The increased militarisation of Europe is of great concern to many people who would prefer to see Ireland retain neutrality. In the referendums on Nice , Ireland was assured that a European Army would never happen, but now the basis for a common defence policy and EU battlegroups are in place. Lisbon looks toward a ‘progressive framing of a common Union defence policy’.
36. Pro-life laws will be overruled if Lisbon is passed, as it will only take one court case (such as the D case, funded by the Irish Family Planning Association) to come before the European Court of Justice. The ECJ will overrule on this. The Irish Government will have its hands tied since there would be absolutely nothing it could do to reverse the European decision, or indeed reverse Lisbon .
37. Ireland already has the the Maastricht protocol, drafted to protect Ireland’s pro-life amendment (Article 40.3.3), but this would be knocked down in the European Court, whose heightened powers under the Lisbon treaty would rule over that, or other, protocols, once the Charter of Rights attached to Lisbon came into effect.
38. Lisbon threatens the freedom of conscience, expression and worship. The Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland have already denounced the European Commission’s planned Equal Treatment Directive as “wholly unacceptable” bec au se they said it would force Christians to act against their consciences. The Catholic Bishops say the Directive will result in sharply curtailing the rights of religious liberty and freedom of expression.
39. Voters should reaffirm the decision they had made in the first referendum in June last year bec au se “nothing had changed” in the treaty. People voted for a better deal for Ireland and Europe . Almost 1,000,000 people or 53% of the electorate rejected the Lisbon treaty on June 12th 2008. The Treaty was itself already abandoned by Europe, as the EU Constitution, in 2005, when both France and the Netherlands rejected it in referendums. It is entirely undemocratic.
40. Lisbon expands the range of political situations in which European military forces can intervene. Under Article 28B, Lisbon will represent another grave step towards the federalist vision of a European fighting force.
41. The European Commission’s trade agenda promotes free trade, yet irrespective of the costs to European family farms and rural communities, or the world poorest communities and countries. Lisbon gives the EU exclusive competence over commercial policy, including the negotiating of international trade agreements.
42. Ryanair Chief, Michael O’Leary, provided comments in support of the Lisbon treaty, but Irish voters need to ask themselves, does Ireland really want a Ryanair Europe?
43. A second No vote would strengthen the hand of any Irish government seeking to negotiate a better deal for Ireland and the EU.
44. The Lisbon treaty is the work of Bertie Ahern and Charlie McCreevy, along with Silvio Berlusconi, Jose Manuel Barroso and Nicolas Sarkozy.
45. What would happen to employees of companies such as Waterford Glass or SR Technics, given that the Lisbon treaty imposes restrictions on state aid which might supposedly ‘distort’ the market?
46. Since concerns over Irish neutrality and European militarisation were a key reason for voting No in the first referendum, according to the Irish Times and TNS surveys in May and June 2008, why should the Irish people accept the Lisbon treaty take two?
47. Ireland is voting, in reality, on behalf of 500 million Europeans. Ireland is the only state, out of the 27 EU member states, to have a referendum.
48. The reason why Ireland has a referendum is important: if the treaty is ratified it would transfer powers from the Irish Constitution to the EU and Irish law requires that any changes to the Constitution must be subject to a referendum. The Irish people gained this right bec au se an ordinary Irish citizen, Raymond Crotty, took his case to the Supreme Court in 1986 to guarantee this right, in the case of EU treaties.
49. The Charter rolls back workers’ rights by failing to include a cl au se requiring the recognitions of trade unions.
50. Ordinary Irish people would be denied their basic rights in the workplace. The ECJ, basing its judgements on the Charter, has recently ruled against Swedish workers’ rights. In the Vaxholm case, the Latvian company Laval wanted to use Latvian workers in Sweden but would not agree to Swedish pay and conditions. Swedish unions opposed this treatment. The Euoprean Court ruled that the union could only act to ensure the Swedish minimum wage was paid and go no further. Other Swedish employment agreements could not be imposed. It puts pressure on Irish workers to move towards minimum wage levels or risk losing their jobs. A No vote to Lisbon can be used to obtain a social Protocol which would outlaw these unjust verdicts of the EU Court .
51. Under the terms of Lisbon , the European judicial body, Eurojust has now had its remits and powers hugely increased, affecting Ireland ’s own power over judicial investigations. The Lisbon treaty introduces an Article which increases Eurojust’s remit and powers. The body’s mandate is also extended into the types of crime it can investigate.
52. Lisbon expressly provides that the European judicial body, Eurojust may have the power and the responsibility to initiate criminal investigations and also the power to initiate prosecutions, even though the prosecution would be conducted by the Irish national au thorities, under the supervision of the European Public Prosecutor.
53. The Lisbon treaty provides for the creation of a super-prosecutor, a European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), to combat crimes affecting the financial interests of the Union . It will have the power to order national police forces to initiate investigations. It will assemble all the evidence in favour or against the accused and will be responsible for conducting and coordinating prosecutions. It will have jurisdiction over the Irish enforcement au thorities.
54. The treaty stresses that national parliaments will be under a definite European legal obligation to ensure that they comply with proposals and legislative initiatives in judicial cooperation in criminal policy and police. Is this the future of Irish justice?
55. A new Article under Lisbon proves that whilst the European Union is willing to freely pass on the personal crime-related data of Irish citizens around the 27 member states, it will not allow for sufficient data protection safeguards.
56. A new provision allows the Union to establish super cooperation involving all the member states’ competent au thorities, including police, customs and other specialised law enforcement services in relation to the prevention, detection and investigation of criminal offences (Article 69f), above and beyond Irish control over law enforcement.
57. Lisbon confirms the EU commitment to the development of common asylum policy expressly stating on Article 63 that “The Union shall develop a common policy on asylum …”. Since there is no veto power and the measures are adopted through the co-decision procedure, the Irish suffer a reduced influence in not only having a say in the development of an EU common asylum policy, but in being barred from developing its own independent asylum procedures.
58. Lisbon weakens Parliament as it formalises the fact that Irish legislators will be unable to act in a particular area once the European Union has already acted. Since that is the case, Irish parliamentarians will not be able to legislate under key areas specified under Article 2C, such as internal market practices, social policy, economic, social and territorial cohesion, agriculture and fisheries, environment, consumer protection, transport, trans-European networks, energy, areas of freedom, security and justice, common safety concerns in public health matters, research & technological development, international development cooperation and humanitarian aid. What voice will Ireland have to change those polices after Lisbon ? A vast range of activity, which should be under the remit of the Irish Government, will be handed over to EU control.
59. Lisbon threatens higher energy bills, since the basic control of national energy policy is actively transferred from member states to the EU. The new Article 176A specifies the European Union’s massive push toward a harmonised common energy policy. Such a move is bad for Ireland and bad for Europe , and the global marketplace of energy resources. It does nothing to serve in the interests of further liberalisation of the energy market – in fact, anti-competitive measures have been shown to have an obvious effect on increased business costs and consumer bills.
60. Lisbon will threaten Ireland ’s energy security given that Lisbon will have a huge impact on the ability for Ireland to determine its own competitive energy policy. This will prevent it from being able to guarantee flexibility to US contracts and interests in the UK , as it will for any other member state. This will lead to huge instability in (rather than guaranteeing) the security of supply and also insecurities in the foreign policies of both the EU and the US in terms of their cooperation and agreements with oil-rich Middle Eastern countries.
61. The detailed entitlement of rights – embodied in the Articles of the Lisbon treaty and the new Charter of Fundamental Rights – will represent a massive change in the way in which the Irish people are governed and who they are governed by.
62. There is a new definition of European citizenship in the Lisbon treaty which will provide each citizen with a real dual citizenship: Union citizens and citizens of their national states. However, Irish citizens do not trust the European institutions, there is no European demos, nor could the Irish people have loyalty to it, or identify with the creation of a European-wide demos. A Yes vote is a vote against democracy.
63. Irish policy on Iraq , Afghanistan and Kosovo will be transferred to a new European foreign minister. Ireland will not have a say on key foreign policy issues. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy represents a severe danger to an independent Irish foreign policy. He or she will be appointed by the European Council, acting by a qualified majority vote and with the agreement of the President of the Commission. It is an immense threat to the independence of Ireland in determining its own foreign policy, since this treaty essentially creates a European Foreign Minister, claiming to work on Ireland ’s behalf throughout the European Union. Negotations on behalf of the Irish people will be held on the other side of Europe without the slightest involvement of an Irish representative or official.
64. The major role played by the Union itself in the international arena has now been consolidated with the Lisbon treaty, in contrast to Ireland and other member states, whose power on foreign policy is now reduced to a secondary au thority of a subsidiary province.
65. The Lisbon treaty establishes the post of a new EU Foreign Minister, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The new post changes the nature of the relationship between Ireland , the other member states and the EU. Heads of State and Government will no longer represent their countries on the international stage.
66. There will be a new President of Europe, sitting in the European Council – such a substantial transfer of more political power to EU level, through the new President of the European Council eliminates the ability of member states to conduct their own independent foreign policy.
67. Lisbon places an obligation on member states that they uphold EU “common positions” in UN forums. Ireland will be obliged to present the common foreign policy position as its own position, when attending the UN Security Council. Ireland would be on the UN Security Council primarily to represent the EU’s position, not its own interests.
68. The intention of the European Union to develop a common European army is obvious.
69. Lisbon turns the EU into a global political actor in its own right. It transfers Ireland ’s powers to sign treaties with other states over to the Union . It will allow the Union to increase the role it plays on the international stage and to promote its interests above Ireland ’s values. The Union acquires the right to conclude international agreements. The Union will gain the rights to conclude treaties, to submit claims or to act before an international court, to become a member of an international organisation, and to enjoy certain immunities.
70. Ireland will in fact sign a blank cheque if it gives the go-ahead to the treaty. Lisbon introduces “simplified revision procedures”, meaning that the treaty is self-amending. Ireland will no longer have referendums bec au se amendments will be made without any further need for treaties or ratification procedures. Article 48 (6) has been called the “ratchet cl au se” and allows treaty amendments to be made without the necessity of a new, amending treaty and ratification. The supposed intention of this provision is to simplify the revision of the treaties. It will completely remove the Irish people from their say over Europe . The simplified but wholly undemocratic revision procedures represent a significant increase in the power of the Union, at the expense of Ireland .
71. The Union will further interfere with Irish employment and social policies. It is not a surprise that Ireland records low (and stagnated) growth, since Europe already coordinates a number of economic and employment policies. The agreement to certain provisions in this treaty is to put the opportunities and jobs (now and in the long term) of the Irish people at great risk.
72. The EU will gain powers over controlling Irish industry, health, education, sport, culture, civil protection and tourism. This is an intolerable state of affairs for the Irish people, which will cost the Irish economy billions.
73. Lisbon reduces the meaning of a green passport to a mere symbol. Under the EU’s freedom of movement legislation, Lisbon provides the right for Ireland to adopt provisions concerning passports, identity cards, residence permits and other documents applying to the movement of EU citizens.
74. Lisbon is entirely contrary to Ireland ’s wishes, given that in economic turmoil, when Ireland may have difficulty implementing one-size-fits-all EU legislation, the European Commission now gains the power to immediately impose penalty payments. The European Court of Justice will impose a lump sum on Ireland when she has not implemented a Directive.
75. If Ireland does sign up to Lisbon , it will not then be able to opt-out of super-Union policies which have been developed between a select number of member states. Lisbon demands that a number of member states can work ever-closer in “enhanced cooperation” on a particular policy (based largely on existing Article 10 TEU). If Ireland is not involved in the enhanced cooperation, she will be compelled to adopt the measures as if they were normal Union measures – Ireland will have had no say in the binding nature or the content of the measure.
76. Lisbon really is a blank cheque in more ways than one – one provision allows the Union to create its own powers (beyond the Treaties) in order to pursue Union objectives, under Article 308, so that if the Treaties have not provided the necessary powers for a certain action, the Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission can adopt any appropriate measures it feels necessary. Quiet often, they will not be in Ireland ’s interest. Lisbon states that the Commission only has “to draw national Parliaments’ attention to proposals based on this Article”, rather than requiring any form of proper national agreement or consent. Ireland will be writing a blank cheque on policies, it can ill afford to sign up to.
77. How can Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Foreign Minister Brian Cowen have agreed to such a bad deal when they signed up to the EU Constitution in 2004, now repackaged as the Lisbon treaty?
78. Instead of the Irish Government deciding who Ireland ’s Commissioner is, under Lisbon , it will be Germany , France and the United Kingdom deciding. Lisbon results in a shift from a bottom-up process for appointing EU Commissioners to a top-down one that benefits other and larger EU states. The Irish Government’s White Paper ignored that fact. The promise of EU Prime Minister’s or Presidents that every member state will continue to have its own national Commissioner after Lisbon is false.
79. Lisbon , by law, would give the European Union a Constitution in the order of a supranational European federal state. It would be superior to the Irish Constitution and laws in all the areas covered by the Treaties.
80. Lisbon puts the competition rules of the EU market above the right of Irish trade unions to enforce pay standards higher than the minimum for migrant workers – so whilst it reduces the power of Irish labour, it reinforces the power of migrant workers.
81. Those who vote Yes for Lisbon often warn of Ireland ’s isolation in Europe . This is false on every count. The political reality is that if Ireland votes No, the Czech Republic and Poland will, in turn, halt ratification of the treaty, since they are waiting to see what Ireland does. Given the status of legal challenges, Germany may not have ratified the treaty either. The next UK Government, which must be elected by next May, will also introduce a Bill on its first day in office to hold a referendum on Lisbon in the UK and recommend a No vote to it. That will give Ireland ’s fellow neighbours in Northern Ireland the chance to vote on Lisbon too.
82. A No vote on Lisbon would open to a new and genuinely more democratic EU, to be embodied in a new set of arrangements which would repatriate powers back to the member states, as Europe ’s original 2003 Laeken Declaration envisaged, along democratic lines.
83. A No vote would stop the march towards an EU federal superstate that would be run on most undemocratic lines, under the total dominance of the elites of the larger EU states, namely Germany , in tandem with their officials in the Brussels Commission.
84. The European Commission is spending some 1.5 million euros on a spurious information campaign in Ireland , supposedly aimed at giving Irish people more information on the EU, but in fact swaying their votes in the Lisbon referendum re-run on Friday 2 October toward a Yes vote.
85. The European Commission has created a massive bill-board advertising campaign across Ireland, cinema advertising that is directed especially at Irish women and young voters, the holding of meetings and seminars and the use of web-sites. Does Ireland , a free county, support the indoctrination of its youth with political messages?
86. The European Commission’s supposed “information campaign” is programmed to go on into 2010, as if it were an everyday exercise, but its l au nch in Ireland recently was set up to taint and influence the outcome of the Lisbon referendum in Ireland .
87. Those involved in the Yes campaign, such as the Commission itself and Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin writing in the Irish Independent, seem to have given advice under the mistaken impression that a “double majority” of number of member states plus a qualified majority of votes does not exist already for making EC/EU laws, when it actually does. Their statements have thereby concealed the reduction of Ireland ’s voting weight.
88. The European Commission, in supporting the Yes campaign in Ireland, has been wrong to suggest that human rights matters such as inheritance rights for Irish farmers would or could not be affected in a European Union, after it signed up to Lisbon. Farmers’ inheritance rights would be affected.
89. On human rights in general, the Irish people will have their rights set out in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which along with the treaty, will be made legally binding for EU citizens. This means that all human rights issues would in principle fall within the remit of the European Court of Justice in the immediate future.
90. Ireland ’s ratification of the Lisbon treaty would give the 27 judges of the EU Court of Justice the power to decide sensitive matters over human rights, property rights and inheritance rights for the first time, as a consequence of new EU citizenship, entailing EU citizens’ rights and duties within the new European Union after Lisbon .
91. Czech President Vaclav Kl au s has stated that the treaty would undermine Czech sovereignty, and so refuses to sign it. The same is true of Irish sovereignty. Kl au s later said, in respect of the Irish people, “… the Lisbon treaty is dead, bec au se it was rejected in a referendum in one of the member states.” Irish democracy and sovereignty are paramount. Are the Irish people prepared to give it away?
92. Ireland would have great support if it does say No. For example, Poland ’s President Lech Kaczynski says he will not sign the treaty until it is passed in Ireland .
93. The Government has wrongly claimed it has assurances on important Irish concerns – they are not assured at all and will be pushed through in the distant future without any treaty ratification now. The Irish Government is claiming that the Decision of the European Council on 19 June 2009 and the promised Protocol incorporating that Decision which is to be attached at some future date, will significantly limit the effect of the treaty of Lisbon on certain provisions of the Irish Constitution and will define what the effects of that treaty are on future Union competence in relation to key Irish assurances. The Decision does not change the Lisbon treaty, as it stands, and it imposes such a restriction on the European Court of Justice in the future without proper treaty ratification now.
94. The Irish Decision of the European Council on 19 June 2009 states that the future Protocol “will clarify but not change either the content or the application of the treaty of Lisbon” , but the Lisbon treaty is not yet in force and if the treaty of Lisbon does comes into force, the European Court of Justice would be free to interpret the Irish Decision in the opposite sense – for example, it would insist that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights can affect the articles relating to the right to life, the rights of the family and rights in respect of education set out in the Irish Constitution. A Protocol, even if it is to be attached to some future treaty, indicates that a substantive treaty change is intended (in contrast to say a Declaration, which does not). This dishonesty must be met with a No vote.
95. The Irish Decision of the European Council on 19 June 2009 is not a real or legal assurance as the European Court of Justice will rule over the terms of this Decision, that the treaty makes no changes on taxation, for example, unless the member states have agreed to that by a normal treaty ratification process. The Irish Decision is a substantive treaty change requiring re-ratification of the Lisbon treaty.
96. The Irish Decision of the European Council on 19 June 2009 falsely claims to be in Ireland ’s interest by limiting the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in relation to specific aspects of the Lisbon treaty, even though the Court is the only legal body competent to decide on the interpretation and application of the Treaties. The Irish people have been deceived on this and should vote No on the basis of this disturbing but substantial confusion.
97. Despite Ireland ’s economic turmoil, the Irish people will be subject to changes and notable increases in direct and indirect taxation, even though false assurances have been made to the contrary. Under Lisbon , Article 311 TFEU would allow the EU to impose its own taxes by unanimous agreement. Article 113 TFEU requires harmonisation of legislation on indirect taxation for a new purpose, “to avoid distortion of competition”, and would enable the European Court of Justice to rule on tax matters accordingly. Any assurances made by the Irish Government on taxation are false and have no legal effect.
98. The Irish Government will be limited in its power over tax measures in difficult economic times bec au se of Lisbon . The treaty asserts, under Protocol No 27 (On the Internal Market and Competition), that the EU could vote down national tax measures if they can be regarded as c au sing distortion of competition on the internal market.
99. Ireland needs obvious constitutional safeguards from Lisbon and cannot sign up until it has achieved them. For example, on 30 June, the German Constitutional Court in judging concerns over the Lisbon treaty has forbidden the German President from signing the treaty until the German Parliament adopted a law which would safeguard the involvement of their Parliament in future EU decision-making. Other EU countries have sought constitutional safeguards. Should Ireland not also reject Lisbon until it can insist upon the protection of its own Parliament, the voice of the Irish people?