There have been several untruths, both general and specific, spread about Lisbon and what would happen if the Irish people voted Yes. For example, contrary to what Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has said on spreading falsehoods about the Lisbon Treaty in the current economic climate “is tantamount to national sabotage”, surely the Yes campaign is tantamount to national sabotage, since it tells untruth after untruth about the EU and Ireland’s economic recovery, the country’s future political position in the EU and gives incorrect assurances to the Irish people saying that they are protected from EU changes to the law on abortion, taxation and defence, when those assurances are not part of the Lisbon treaty (Judge Frank Clarke, Chairman of the Referendum Commission) and are not EU law – so Lisbon would in fact lead to changes on abortion, taxation and defence.
Again, on the issue of the Commissioner, contrary to what Micheál Martin has said, “… if we have a No outcome, we don’t have any guarantee in the future that we will have a commissioner every year, and that’s a fundamental change in terms of the campaign last year”, there continues to be no concrete agreement at any key EU summit demonstrating that the arrangement on Commissioners would continue forever. Furthermore, instead of the Irish Government deciding who Ireland’s Commissioner is, under Lisbon, it will be Germany, France and the United Kingdom deciding. Lisbon results in a shift from a bottom-up process for appointing EU Commissioners to a top-down one that benefits other and usually larger EU states. The Irish Government’s White Paper ignored that fact. The promise of EU Prime Minister’s or Presidents that every member state will continue to have its own national Commissioner after Lisbon is false.
Under the existing Treaties, the Council and the Commission President adopts the list of the Commissioners in accordance with the proposals made by each Member State. However, under the Lisbon Treaty such a list will not be based on “proposals” but “suggestions” made by Member States. Hence, each Member State will suggest different candidates, and the Council and the President will choose from thereon in. However, they still have to be subject to the “vote of consent” of the European Parliament which complicates Ireland’s situation even further. This provision will significantly limit the influence of Ireland and for that matter, many of the other Member States, when it would have been much easier and more democratic for each Member State to appoint one Commissioner.