EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘The Irish EU Treaty Referendum’:

On Thursday, the Irish will go to the polls to vote on whether or not to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, as required by the Irish constitution. Opinion polls indicate a swing to the ‘no’ camp, giving it a slight lead. If this were to be the final result, it would push the EU into something of a political crisis.

So, a nation whose population is less than 1% of the EU as a whole will decide the future political direction of the continent. Yet we in Scotland are told consistently that it is better to be a big state in the EU, as part of the UK, than it is to be a small state, such as Ireland.

Here in the UK, the Labour government reneged on its pledge to hold a referendum. In Ireland, they are having their plebiscite, the Irish people acting as a mouthpiece for the rest of the EU in voicing their concerns over a document drawn up by political elites that neglect the citizenry. Should they vote “no”, there will be potentially the ability to amend the treaty to address Irish concerns, as occurred when the Irish rejected the Treaty of Nice the first time round.

The future of a reformed European Union hangs on the vote of a member state with a little over four million people. While our Labour government has signed up to this document, the Irish represent the last hope for the concerns of the EU’s population to be heard.

Alex Orr

Edinburgh

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