Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'm not sure I agree with your "accumulation of bile" theory with respect to the EU.  There have always been opponents of the EU  and a degree of nationalism is there either overt or below the surface in all EU members.  This time we have them a critical mass by posing a spectacularly inappropriate Referendum question which required an understanding of a 300 page document that even many political leaders have not read.  We often buy stuff without reading the fine print, but that's not generally a good principal to amend your constitution on.

I'm also not sure that the reverse psychology of posing a referendum question that you want to lose is a good idea.  I don't think anyone campaigned on the basis of wanting to be excluded from anything (even if that is what they privately wanted) but rather under the illusion that the current status quo is tenable indefinitely until such time as someone (e.g. Sinn Fein) can negotiate a better deal for Ireland.

The political and legal question here (under existing international law and Treaty obligations) is whether Ireland  can stop the 26 other members proceeding to implement aspects of Lisbon by joint agreement under the Nice enhanced cooperation provisions and with Ireland effectively opting out. Certainly it makes a mockery of the NO camps protestations that they are supporting European democracy by preventing the settled will of 26 democratic Governments being implemented.

We insist on the Unionists sharing power with Sinn Fein in the North.  The EU is also a power-sharing agreement between 27 Governments which depends on good relationships and good will being maintained.  People understand this.  Once it is clear that there is no question of a significant re-negotiation of the Treaty - then people will have to decide whether sticking to our Nice status quo is worth the cost of pissing of the other 26 Members.  Given that people barely understand the difference between Nice and Lisbon in the first place, that should be a no brainer..

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 28th, 2008 at 04:30:57 PM EST
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