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Intel asks for yes vote in Irish Lisbon referendum

May 15th, 2018

The global computer giant Intel has made a late intervention in the Irish Lisbon referendum campaign to urge a yes vote tomorrow.
The US multinational published full-page advertisements in Irish newspapers today, calling for the republic’s voters to back the EU reform treaty almost 18 months after the electorate rejected it.
The ad, complete with the Intel logo, states: “With its vast market and endless opportunities, Stay Connected to Europe”. At the bottom of the page the company ad says: “Supporting Lisbon”.
Intel’s backing for a yes vote is a late boost for the pro-European parties, which have been arguing that a no vote will lead to disinvestment by global companies. The yes campaign claims that corporations such as Intel have chosen to set up their European bases in Ireland because the country is at the heart of the EU.
Ireland’s Celtic Tiger boom was fuelled by the arrival of mainly North American hi-tech corporations attracted by the country’s low capital taxation rates, a highly educated, English-speaking workforce and the state’s presence inside the EU.
In his last statement before Ireland goes to the polls, the taoiseach, Brian Cowen, said voting yes would “retain the confidence that Ireland is a positive and influential member of the union”.
Cowen added: “Ireland benefits when Europe works better – and Europe works better when Ireland plays an active and positive role in its development. I worked hard to secure legal guarantees following the concerns of the Irish people and now that they have been clearly answered the choice before us today is a simple one – do we want to move forward with Europe or to try a new and more uncertain route?
“I am appealing to every person in this country who believes that Ireland and Europe are better together to help achieve a yes vote. This vote is too important for people to stand on the sidelines. This referendum is above party politics, it is about the future of our country for our generation and for generations to come.”
The campaigners against Lisbon have accused Ireland’s europhiles of using “economic intimidation” to scare people into voting yes the second time around.
Lisbon’s opponents on the Irish left, such as Socialist party MEP Joe Higgins, claim that the treaty will lead to further liberalisation of the EU labour market and lower wages for Irish workers.
The more rightwing members of the no camp, headed by the Catholic traditionalist Coir movement, claim the EU treaty will undermine Ireland’s ban on abortion.

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