Irish Vote Yes On Lisbon Treaty

03 October 2009
SNP MEP and alternate member of the European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee, Alyn Smith, has today (Saturday) hailed the results of the Irish vote on the Lisbon Treaty as an signal for the EU to streamline and move forward but as an opportunity missed for Scotland.

Smith said:

"I hope the result today will finally bring an end to this seemingly everlasting saga.

"All eyes now move to the Czech Republic and to Poland, but I would expect that the Polish President will sign up fairly soon, backing his Parliament in Warsaw. While the Czech President Vaclav Klaus has expressed his opposition, I do not expect it to be long before the Constitutional Court removes any further hurdles in that country.

"While I remain of the opinion that the Treaty is a missed opportunity, there are still some positives to welcome, in particular an increase of powers for the European Parliament in areas like agriculture and fisheries. However, these steps are offset by the removal of several national vetoes in areas of real importance, as well as the creation of a number of EU posts which I fear will create confusion, not clarity.

"All the same, I hope that this referendum has shown that the EU really is a confederal gathering of nation states - a Europe of citizens - not an unstoppable juggernaut.

"The power to decide was in the hands of the Irish population and I hope it will not be long before Scotland also can play its part in shaping the future path of the EU."