"Fear is stalking Europe's chancelleries and boardrooms. There is bewilderment in Brussels and dismay in Dublin. Against all protocol and best practice, the people of Ireland have been given a free vote today on whether to accept a further centralisation of power and entrenchment of corporate privilege in the European Union. There are few things that make the blood of EU officials run as cold as the prospect of a referendum. But not only do the Republic of Ireland's three million voters have a chance to do what has been denied to the rest of the union's 490 million people and have their say on the laboriously constructed Lisbon treaty, alias the European constitution: the signs are that they might even throw it out - and sink the entire package for Europe as a whole.
Naturally, the Irish establishment has closed ranks and threatened the most dire consequences if Ireland dares to vote no. The new Irish prime minister, Brian Cowen, backed by all the main political parties and business barons, warned it would put the country's economic future at risk; the former Irish EU commissioner Peter Sutherland, who now chairs BP and Goldman Sachs International, said the consequences of a no vote would be "devastating"; the French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, declared that the Irish would be the "first victims" if they voted the wrong way. And as the first poll to show the no campaign in the lead was released last week, the bullying and scaremongering was ratcheted sharply upwards.......
Subordination to the US or an undemocratic neoliberal superstate is no choice at all. Instead, political alliances need to be constructed for a different kind of Europe. If Irish voters are intimidated into backing the treaty today, public alienation from the EU will continue to grow, along with rightwing nationalism. But if they manage to boot it out, they could help kickstart the essential process of change and give a voice to millions across the continent".
You can read the whole of Seumas Milne's brilliant piece on the importance of a 'No Vote' in today's EU Treaty Referendum in Ireland here.
Come on Ireland- sink the neoliberal EU treaty!