What Sinn Fein, Joe Higgins and Richard Boyd Barrett don’t tell you about Lisbon.

One of the more curious aspects of the No to Lisbon side in Ireland is that they are most visible on the Left. It’s not that there are not campaigners on the far-right, because there are, but they tend to disguise themselves as goups of “concerned citizens” whereas in reality they tend to be of the ultra catholic anti-abortion “no problem with protestants as long as they know their place” variety. And don’t get them started on “Foriegners”. To them, Jesus Christ in the flesh would be a suspicious looking darkie.  

But the left are more vocal. What’s most strange about this is that across the rest of Europe, opposition to the treaty comes most vocally from the right.

The following is some material, unedited, from the Bruges Group, an anti-EU Margaret Thatcher loving group. They actually have some valid points, but the fact is this: They are against the treaty for almost the entirely oppoite reasons of Joe Higgins, Richard Boyd Barrett and Mary Lou.

Who is telling the truth on the No side?





The EU plans to step-up its legislative agenda for a more ‘social’ Europe.
The European Commission is increasingly pushing for the agenda which it describes as ‘European values’ (as opposed to Anglo-Saxon values) as powerful evidence of the EU’s commitment to the ‘social dimension.’
These policy proposals will make the economy of the EU even more uncompetitive in the global economy; and gives the lie to the claim that Europe is coming our way. 

Commission Communication: Renewed social agenda: opportunities, access and solidarity in 21st century Europe COM(08) 412


Trade union power to be expanded.
The establishment of European Works Councils will enhance the power of trade unions and will mean employers shall be further hamstrung by EU law. This will make the EU less attractive to investors and drive jobs out of Britain to more adaptable labour markets, particularly those in Asia.
This policy proposal comes on top Article 138 of the EC Treaty which lays down that the EU must consult with ‘social partners’ (trade unions) when making social law.

Draft Directive on the establishment of a European Works Council COM(08) 419



Here the European Commission reaffirms its commitment to make social policy issues the cornerstone and aim of all EU law making; leaving the elected British government with not very much to do in that important area.
Commission Communication: A renewed commitment to social Europe COM(08) 418 


EU proposals will see it force upon the UK its approach to tackling poverty.
In the UK the issue on how best to tackle poverty and social exclusion has become an important debate; with different approaches and strategies emerging from the two main political parties. However, this debate in the UK will become less relevant as the EU plans to expand its power into this field.
The European Commission is proposing that:

  • it can begin dictating strategies for tacking poverty
  • that member states must create a National Implementation Body to apply the EU’s plans; alongside that body should be National Advisory Group



Draft Decision on the European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion (2010) COM(07) 797

EU plans changes to social security and leave from work.
The European Union is intending to produce more laws to enforce its views on the work life balance. The proposed rules will see maternity leave, for both spouses and ‘life-partners’ increased. The spouses and ‘life-partners’ will also be able to gain more access to social security.
These measures will add more costs onto businesses and the taxpayer at a crucial time when they simply cannot be afforded.
Commission Communication: A better work-life balance COM(08) 635 


EU to further tie Britain’s hands in the area of social policy.
The EU via Articles 136, 137, 140 and 144 of the EC Treaty has the power to force the UK to implement social measures. The EU wishes to expand its power here and produce more costly policies in the fields of social services, social security, housing and health care.

 By the way, note how they added inverted commas to life partners. It’s not in the original Commission document. I wonder why they did that? Considering what many Tories seem to spend a lot of time doing to each other, you think they’d be a bit more broad minded.

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