19 June, 2008

Ireland's 'no' vote and Turkey

The writer of this article asserts that the main reason the Irish voted 'no' was because of potential Turkish membership of the EU.

I cannot agree with this analysis. Yes, Ireland has benefited from its membership of the EU, possibly more than any other country, but that doesn't create an obligation to say yes to everything it proposes.

Ireland is significantly more pro-EU than Britain, but the shared history of the two countries for so many centuries means there are a number of 'mind set' similarities. The French and the Dutch may have voted no the first time around because of Turkish membership. Given that they haven't even allowed the Poles etc in, that xenophobia doesn't surprise me. Ireland and Britain have allowed the free movement of peoples. They are 2 of only 3 countries to have done so. I think that as Britain is likely to say no in any referendum on the grounds of national sovereignty, I strongly suspect that had a large role to play in the Irish no vote.

I also find it crazy that people assert that this treaty was now needed. The EU has been bigger for quite a while and hasn't fallen apart without the new process! If the treaty is genuinely necessary, then the case on its merits will be easy to make. The fact that no such case is made makes be wonder if the treaty needs significant re-writing, if needed at all.

1 comment:

Al said...

I agree that Turkey simply was not a big factor in the vote. I also think it's going to take a LONG time before the EU will get particuarly close to letting Turket in, either with or without the Lisbon treaty.

I want to add something else to the EU debate: yesterday in the Commons Gordo told Dave that the Tories could never dissasociate themselves from the dark days of the "nasty party" becuase, at heart, they are still eurosceptic.

So pro EU = moral, upstanding, kisses babies

euroskeptic = like Hitler, if Hitler was also a paedophile

Hmmm.