We’re in the final stretch of what has been a very hard fought campaign for a Yes vote in the Stability Treaty Referendum. As Fine Gael’s Director of Elections, I have been trying to engage with as many people as possible, through as many platforms as possible, because I believe the Irish people are being asked one of the most important questions in recent years this Thursday.
How we vote on May 31st will have a significant impact on our ability to stay on the road to recovery. A Yes vote will be an important step for Ireland. It won’t solve all our problems, it’s not a panacea, but it is a vital part of the picture as we move forward as a country and reclaim our position as a strong, stable place in which to invest and grow jobs.
I am first and foremost urging everyone to get out and vote. Exercise your democratic right. Make your voice heard. If you want Ireland to continue to attract inward invest, if you want to help bring about the right conditions for growth, and if you want to ensure we have a financial safety net for the future, then I am urging you to vote Yes tomorrow.
By voting Yes, we can deliver certainty to job creating investors thinking about coming here. Investors like Paypal, Mylan, Mastercard and Apple; all of whom have chosen to create real jobs here in recent months. More than 10,000 new jobs have been created since the beginning of this year. Let’s maintain this stream of investment by putting Ireland in the right position to attract other major companies.
A Yes vote is also the only way to guarantee access to Europe’s new permanent emergency fund, the ESM. Sinn Féin and others have consistently tried to mislead the public on this issue. It has been clarified time and again by the Referendum Commission; only countries which ratify the Stability Treaty can access the fund. It’s that straightforward. And we will need this insurance policy in place when our current funding runs out in 2014, and we need to borrow €18 billion to run the country. Why we would we want to cancel such an insurance policy by rejecting the Treaty?
A Yes vote isn’t about the Government, or about Europe. It’s about Ireland. When I vote Yes tomorrow, I will be thinking of the future. I will be ensuring that down the road, governments stick to sensible budget rules in the best interests of the people. I will be sending a message to international investors, that Ireland is a great place in which to do business. And I will be giving Ireland the safety net it needs as we emerge for our bailout programme and move forward on a path of growth. I will be voting Yes to investment, stability and recovery.