The Treaty of Rome

The Treaty of Rome was signed on March 25th 1957. To mark the 60th anniversary, this Saturday the leaders of what is now the EU will go back to Rome, where they will issue a Proclamation declaring where they believe we should all be headed.

Would that they would also go back in time, to an EU pre-Nice, pre-Lisbon because those two treaties have led us to where we are now; with the UK already voting to leave, with many other Member States having significant minorities who would take the same route if given the same opportunity, the EU is on the brink of disintegration.

The presentation of both the Nice and Lisbon treaties to the Irish electorate was wholly dishonest; all that was presented to us by those who sold us the deals (including both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, by the way) were the flowery promises of peace and prosperity for all.

Did they tell us: 

  • What exactly full Economic & Monetary Union (EMU) would mean;
  • That the vaunted new currency, the euro, was so seriously flawed in its design that when it collapsed – as was inevitable – it would take down the banks and national economies of several Member States, Ireland being one of the hardest hit;
  • That because they didn’t have even the most basic currency structures in place to deal with troubled banks, we would have to pay €69.7bn of our own money to bail out those banks (though in fairness, the EU would LEND us most of those billions, at exorbitant interest rates of course);
  • That our national budget would now become merely a regional budget, Brussels and Frankfurt with the real control over the purse-strings;
  • That part of the new ambitions was an EU Army, that we were signing up not just to shared security but to shared security AND defence;
  • About the enormous power we were about to divest from our own authorities and vest in unelected and unaccountable EU institutions such as the ECB and the European Commission?

There are undoubtedly areas such as climate change, circular economy and food quality where in depth collaboration with our neighbours makes total sense. The original European project was an extremely positive force and had the potential to be a real community. With Nice and Lisbon, however, we were sold a pup – we have gone too far, too fast, heading down a blind alley at breakneck speed. The wall isn’t very far away.....