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Posted by Bill Door on September 30, 2002 at 15:58:22:
In Reply to: Nice Treaty - HELP??? posted by Confused Voter on September 30, 2002 at 11:26:39:
Well as far as I can see...
The neutrality thing is a bit of a red herring. We're already allowing US planes to stopover in Shannon so technically speaking we're compromising our neutrality anyways. We've hardly got a large army as it stands so who'll miss us and we've got this statement from the other members acknowledging our neutral status.
We will have a weaker position in Europe compared to today but Europe will be moving ahead anyways so either we get a weaker position voluntarily or else we get sidelined because we don't play ball. At the moment we have a veto on certain issues but we're too small to ever use it and risk the wrath of the major european powers as it is. Its a bit like getting a smaller slice of a bigger cake in one respect.
The jobs thing is harder to call. If you listen to the business organisations they claim we need X hundred thousand new workers today in order to remain competitive so migrants are welcome. On the other hand you hear stories about businesses moving to eastern europe because its cheaper. In my industry, IT, the main competition is from India and China so Nice won't necessarily help me. Another point is that when the new countries join they present a larger market to sell to so that boosts the economy. Experts claim that our pay rates are too high as it is and that any significant fluctuation in Euro/Dollar rates will cripple us with our without Nice.
I've yet to read the literature so the above is my perceptions at the moment. Hope it helps and I'll post any changes after I've read a bit about it.