The Eurobaromer makes interesting reading, as it delves into the reasons people gave for their votes on the Lisbon treaty.
Yes voters were pretty much united in saying the treaty was good for Ireland and Europe, but No voters were less focussed.
For one in four voters, the main reason given was ‘I don’t understand it’, though I don’t believe that’s what they meant.
No one has ever understood what any European treaty. What they really meant was ‘I don’t trust them’.
The second reason given was ‘a desire to protect Irish identity’.
I don’t know what that means.
Other reasons included distrust of politicians, worries about neutrality and taxation, keeping our commissioner, and stopping a ‘unified Europe’, whatever that is. Three percent voted no because they thought the EU might introduce abortion, euthanasia or gay marriage.
One percent cited immigration, the same number who thought the existing EU setup worked just fine and didn’t need changing.
The good news for Brussels is that over 80% of voters, in both camps, believe the EU has been good for Ireland. It seems it’s our own politicians they don’t trust.
But what’s all this about protecting Irish identity? More on this tomorrow.