Thursday, April 03, 2008

Letter to the editor: Lisbon treaty and competitiveness

Sir,

Paul Nolan thinks I missed the point with my question on the Lisbon treaty  (letters April 2nd). I did not. I asked a very focused question in an attempt to get a waffle-free answer and it worked. Thank you.

Mr Nolan tells us that Ireland's competitiveness versus other European countries will not be changed by the Lisbon treaty. We will still be the highly-educated, English-speaking, low-tax, gateway to Europe even if we vote "No".

With that question resolved, I would like to ask the other half of the question. What exactly in the Lisbon treaty will make Ireland and Europe more attractive for foreign investment versus the rest of the world.

Mr Nolan raises this issue himself and says, "the Lisbon Treaty includes a number of specific provisions" to make Europe "a better place to invest and do business". However he does not say what they are.

It is exactly this kind of answer, a serious sounding statement but no details, from the "Yes" campaign that has driven me to ask such narrowly focused questions.

As before, waffle-free answers please. Being "at the heart of Europe" might give politicians a warm fuzzy feeling but I suspect it doesn't do much for the shareholders of large companies,

Update: there was a pretty poor reply to this to which I have responded.

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