Images: William Murphy on Flickr
If the Irish people vote "No" to the Lisbon Treaty today, the document will be binned. A traditionally pro-Europe nation, last week the polls showed a change in opinion, with "No" coming out as the likely winner. Irish voters from both sides tell us why the treaty is "scary".
The Lisbon Treaty, signed last December, is an amendment to the proposed European Union constitution that was quashed by "No" votes in French and Dutch referendums in 2005. While most of the EU's 27 states chose to let their MPs make the decision this time round, Ireland's constitution forbids this, and the republic goes to the polls tomorrow. Pro-EU observers wait nervously for the results, after a poll published by The Irish Times on Friday (6 June) saw 5% more voters saying "no" (35%) rather than "yes" (30%). If the Irish say no, the treaty will have to be forgotten.
Kevin Foley is a chartered accountant from Blackrock, Dublin.
I'm not against Europe but I don't see any need for further integration. I do not wish to see a European superstate. It [the treaty] enshrines European Law in the Irish Constitution as superior. The decisions of the Irish people will be given to faceless civil servants and judges in Strasbourg and Brussels. This alone is scary. We've got a constitution for a reason - it's there to protect us.
It's a typical Irish outlook to get down and kiss feet. But our success is not all down to the EU - people still have to go out and work to make the changes. There is no good argument for the treaty and plenty of good ones against it. So for sure I will be voting no."
Michael Seery is a chemistry professor at the Dublin Institute of Technology.
There's an attitude now that "we've got as much as we can, let's get out now". We've done extremely well in terms of the budget and human rights. And this constitution won't change anything. It's obvious we have to make this change. As much as I would like us to have a permanent commissioner in Brussels, you can't with growing numbers of member states, so it's got to go on a rotational basis."
For us the worry is that France and Germany want to get rid of our 12.5% corporate tax rate [in the France it's 34.5% and in Germany 38.6%] which has brought an awful lot of US companies into the country and we could lose that. We are at a disadvantage because of our location and being an island. At this stage I think it would be safer to vote no as a precaution. For now, I've been reading the paper as the subject is not allowed on TV or radio for the final 24 hours."