"Farmers have been brazenly lied to by the EU Commission in order to get Lisbon passed. Now Lisbon has been passed the EU Commission is putting in train everything it denied would happen during the recent Treaty debate. It's patent dishonesty is repugnant to all decent people.
"Commission has just announced a move on inheritance law without even a glance at its denials that it would do so during the Lisbon referendum.
"As Farmers for No have said, eaten bread is quickly forgotten. Now, Ireland has voted Yes and is, so to speak, 'in the bag', the EU Commission will throw every proposal it wants on us and there is nothing the IFA leadership can do about it. Farmers have been conned."
James Reynolds is Longford-based Cattle farmer.
At the launch of Farmers for No on August 20, we said
EU Commission proposals on inheritance law harmonisation, if fully implemented, would mean that Irish farmers will not be able to pass on their family farm as a single working unit to one of their children in the future.
The partial harmonisation of inheritance codes throughtout the EU as proposed by the commission will mean the continental judicial system in this matter would prevail over the Irish Common Law system. It would mean a reserved portion of the deceased's property would have to go to the children of the deceased in equal portion.
Those countries with the Napoleonic Code insist that one cannot leave property as one wishes, but that all children have an equal share.
This would mean the family farm would have to be broken up or sold.
In May this year, the EU Commission dropped the proposals to partially harmonise inheritance law throughout the EU until after Lisbon is voted on. This move was cynical and beneath contempt. Irish farmers want and deserve transparency of this issue.
Farmers for NO drew attention to two articles which gave outline to the EU Commission proposals, one in the The Irish Times
another in the European Voice 14th May 2009.
The EU Commission denied what we said about their proposals
Response to reported claims "Farmers for No" on the impact of the Lisbon Treaty
The statements of the Irish farm lobby group (Farmers for No) on the Lisbon Treaty and on EU policies, quoted in today's press, are factually incorrect and misleading. They represent a totally distorted picture of the reality.
The European Commission wishes make the following points:
• Claims that succession rights will be affected by EU proposals
There is no threat from the EU to farm succession rights. This is a matter that will continue to be governed by national rules and traditions. The issue of succession rights are not a European competence.
Yet in the press today [Irish Examiner] there is an article outlining the EU Commission new proposals to introduce proposals that people can choose their jurisdiction when cross border property is being inherited.
He [Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot] proposes people should be able to choose whether the law of the country where they live or the country where the assets are, applies to the will.
......... the proposal will take some of the stress out of succession planning by allowing people to choose the law that will govern the transmission of all their assets," he said.
The rules would not change the national rules on succession – on the continent, spouses and children cannot be disinherited and are entitled to a fixed share of assets normally.