Whatever happens in the Irish referendum on Europe today is bound to affect Britain's future. It is no exaggeration to say that our country's destiny may lie in the hands of the Republic of Ireland's three million voters.
If they vote 'Yes' to the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union will make one more (and possibly decisive) lurch towards integration. But if they vote 'No', the juggernaut will shudder to a halt, possibly never to be restarted.
An Irish rejection of Lisbon would enable David Cameron to call a referendum in Britain, should the Tories win the next election, and give the British people their chance to say 'No'. The Lisbon Treaty envisages an unelected European President (the first one quite possibly being Tony Blair) speaking for us all, a common European foreign policy, and the giving up of our national veto in some 60 key areas.
So the stakes are unbelievably high, which is why Brussels has been putting pressure on the Irish to come up with the 'right' result. Last Sunday, Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, flew into Dublin. On a previous visit to Ireland earlier this month, he had announced a 14.8 million euros package to help 2,400 workers recently sacked by the computer giant Dell. Michael O'Leary, boss of Ryanair is spending 500,000 euros promoting the YES campaign after promoting the NO campaign last time. But that may be something to do with the fact that he wants to take over Air Lingus and is only being stopped by the E.U.
I haven't made up my mind one way or the other, but when I see big business throwing money about, which to me look like obvious bribes to Government, I start to get worried and if nothing else I hope they vote NO to keep that FUCKING ARSEHOLE BLAIR OUT OF A JOB!