EU referendum cover-up
THE EU Summit strategy dealing with Ireland's referendum marked a distinct cover-up for the Irish people in dealing with the Irish No vote. Their way of dealing with it is similar to the Edinburgh Agreement of December 1992, when Denmark changed its No to Maastricht for full Danish opt-outs from some provisions of that Treaty.
The Irish 'decision' did not previously exist as a formal legal instrument of EU summits. It was invented as a political tool to get around the Danish No to Maastricht in 1992 by the Head of the Council Legal Service, Jean-Claude Piris.
It is a meaningless way of giving people the feeling of legal certainty - over abortion, neutrality and taxation - which does not exist. It is not any part of the properly ratified EU treaties and even the most minor of changes must only be validated through new ratifications by all 27 member states in their national parliaments.
The only difference between Ireland and the other member states is that Ireland's great constitution allows her people to have a say.
Jim McConalogue, The European Foundation, 83 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0HW
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