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Thursday, June 25, 2009


Oh dear - the new 'Generation Yes' campaign in Ireland has fallen at its first hurdle.

Its 'Fight the Lies' page states:

"The Irish people deserve an honest debate on this Treaty, we promise that our campaign will base all our arguments on the facts, and will reference all our statements.

We don’t believe in attacking people personally, but we have zero tolerance for anyone who lies to the Irish people in this campaign. When people make false statements, we will respond immediately with the truth."

Sounds good.

And yet the first question on the FAQ section says:

"Are there any changes since last time we voted?"

"Yes there will be changes to the Treaty, which means there is a new deal on offer."

Uh-uh. An enormous, devastating, and unforgivable porky!

The conclusions of the EU summit last week clearly state:

“The Protocol will clarify but not change either the content or the application of the Treaty of Lisbon."

If that's not enough for you, then how about this:

“the text of the guarantees explicitly states that the Lisbon Treaty is not changed thereby”.
- EU Presidency statement following the outcome of the summit

"The summit conclusions set out the fact that the protocol does not change the relationship between the European Union and the member states, and that the protocol clarifies but does not change the content and application of the Treaty... The Treaty assurances have made explicit what was implicit in the Treaty already."
- Gordon Brown

“Nothing in the declarations materially affects the treaty text. If there was a material difference, then the Treaty would have to be re-ratified in all the other member states”.
- Patrick Smyth, Brussels Correspondant for the Irish Times

"From the French point of view, there are no difficulties with these guarantees since they only repeat and clarify the content of the treaties, without adding anything nor taking anything away... This does not pose problems for us because this protocol says nothing more, nothing less than what is in the Treaty."
- Then-French Europe Minister Bruno LeMaire

“The European Council agreed a package of measures to offer Ireland the reassurances that it needed on the Lisbon treaty covering taxation, defence, social issues and the size of the Commission. These do not change the Lisbon treaty… Ireland sought and has received guarantees, but the treaty has not been reopened. In that regard, it is a referendum on the same treaty as before.”
- UK Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch Brown

“At the European Council on 11-12 December 2008, all countries agreed that there could be no change or amendment to the Lisbon Treaty and that we should proceed to ratification.”
- Then-UK Europe Minister Caroline Flint

"The guarantees do not change the Lisbon treaty itself in any respect. They have the character of explanatory assurances. In other words, the Irish guarantees only confirm and explain what is already in the text of the Lisbon treaty."
- Czech Europe Minister Stefan Fuele

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. 'Fight the Lies' eh. Wonder what else they have got wrong - after all, this is pretty much the central, most important point of the whole argument.

Because the Irish government explicitely promised not to make people vote on exactly the same text - recognising that this would be a ridiculous and wholly unacceptable thing to do after they had already rejected it.

"We will not be asking people to vote on the same proposition.”
- Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin

“Our partners understand, I believe, that we cannot and will not put the same package to our people later this year.”
- Irish Europe Minister Dick Roche

If you want the truth on the Lisbon Treaty 'deal', check out our briefing:

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