As Ireland prepares to vote on the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, the “No” lobby has been boosted by a millionaire businessman’s return to the campaign.
Declan Ganley helped defeat the charter first time around. He slammed the “Yes” sides claims. “Yes for jobs. Who is against jobs. Yes for the economy. Anyone against the economy? This is ridiculous. None of this has anything to do with this document. Nothing. The Lisbon Treaty is not about any of those things. And in fact if anything can be argued, in respect of Irish interests, Irish job creation and the economy, it is that the Lisbon Treaty would be bad,” he said. Ireland’s government begs to differ. It hopes to use the sorry state of the economy to further the “Yes” case, arguing Ireland needs to be at the heart of Europe at a time of crisis. Ireland’s Prime Minister Brian Cowen said: “The government is committed to run our own campaign. There are many positive reasons to vote “Yes” this campaign. We are going to do that. It is up to people themselves to judge Mr Ganley’s own position.” And this time the “Yes” camp can be more confident. Latest opinion polls show support for the charter at between 52 and 62 per cent. The treaty, intended to streamline the running of the 27-member EU, needs Irish approval on October 2 to take effect.