McCreevy admits most EU voters would reject Lisbon
EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy says Irish people shouldn’t be ashamed about their rejection of the Lisbon Treaty.
Speaking in Dublin this morning, McCreevy admitted that the treaty would have been rejected in most member states if it had been put to a public vote.
He said many EU leaders were glad they had no legal obligation to hold referenda on the treaty in their own countries.
By Martin Banks
Ireland commissioner says most EU countries would reject Lisbon Treaty
The treaty, which proposes the first full-time President of the European Council, is highly contentious and was rejected by the Irish in a referendum in June last year.
Mr McCreevy, the internal market commissioner, said that if the treaty had been put to a public vote, it would have been rejected by 95 per cent of the 27 member states.
The former Irish finance minister said: “When Irish people rejected the Treaty a year ago, the initial reaction ranged from shock to horror to temper to vexation. That would be the view of a lot of the people who live in the Brussels beltway.
“On the other hand, all of the political leaders know quite well that if a similar question was put to their electorate by a referendum, the answer in 95 per cent of the countries would probably have been ‘No’ as well.
“I have always divided the reaction between those two forces: those within the beltway, the ‘fonctionnaires’, those who gasp with horror, and on the other hand the heads of state who are far more realistic. They are glad they didn’t have to put the question themselves to their people.”
He said the Irish should not be ashamed about voting No, adding: “We might not like the result on occasion, but that’s democracy, and we should not be ashamed of it.”
“Everybody says we do not know enough about Europe. But I can tell you that the ordinary people of Ireland know a damn sight more about the intricacies of the European framework than nearly all members of the other 27 states.”
Millions of French and Dutch already voted no to the Lisbon treaty when it was called the EU Constitution in 2005. The Irish voted no to the Lisbon treaty last year. To find out why most people would vote no to the Lisbon treaty, if they had the right to vote on it once, watch End of Nations.