The Myth of “Neutrality”, Revisited

Article 29.4.11: “No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State that are necessitated by the obligations of membership of the European Union referred to in subsection 10 of this section, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the European Union or by institutions thereof, or by bodies competent under the treaties referred to in this section, from having the force of law in the State.”

This, as mentioned previously, is the proposed amendment which follows that giving effect to the Treaty of Lisbon. Here is the existing wording of Article 29.4.9:

“The State shall not adopt a decision taken by the European Council to establish a common defence pursuant to Article 1.2 of the Treaty referred to in subsection 7° of this section where that common defence would include the State.”

“No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State which are necessitated by the obligations of membership of the European Union or of the Communities, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the European Union or by the Communities or by institutions thereof, or by bodies competent under the Treaties establishing the Communities, from having the force of law in the State.”

It is an established trend in past European referendums, though one that is little discussed, to essentially enshrine in the Constitution an article that nullifies its force where measures of European law are concerned. The process of moving toward a European superstate has been a gradual one, just as the elimination of a non-aligned foreign policy has been gradual and little-discussed. It is the “obligations” under the respective treaties that are the issue. The establishment of an EU armaments agency and a common defence policy are, according to the new amendment, obligatory. That is, whatever else the Constitution may say about joining or not joining a common defence, it is not legally enforceable.

The State has participated in actual military actions in Afghanistan under NATO command as well as under the aegis of the EU “Battle Group” command structure in Chad. The State has actively facilitated the invasion of Iraq by permitting hundreds of thousands of troops to pass through Shannon, as well as weapons of mass destruction and CIA torture flights. Armed NATO aircraft have been permitted to land at civil and military airports. Ireland is not “neutral”, but aligned with the strategic war planning of the big states. All that remains is to place such participation on a legal basis: this is one of the aims of the Treaty.

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