Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Gerry Adams calls for a new EU treaty

25 May, 2009 - by Pat Sheehan


Lisbon Treaty is flawed and unsuitable for current conditions.

Speaking at the launch of the Sinn Féin EU manifesto today in Dublin, Gerry Adams said “If the Lisbon Treaty had been passed Ireland would be in a weaker position today.  There would be no permanent commissioner and serious long-term implications for workers rights, public services and tax sovereignty.”  He said “The Lisbon Treaty was flawed when they started drafting it nearly a decade ago.  It is completely unsuitable to deal with current political and economic conditions.  Now more than ever it is time for a new treaty for the new times in which we find ourselves.”

“In 2008 almost one million people voted against the Lisbon Treaty.  It was the same decision as that taken by two of the founding members of the European Union, France and the Netherlands, who two years earlier rejected the same package of proposals.  In the North citizens were denied the right to vote on the issue by the British government.

“Like the people of France and the Netherlands, voters in Ireland were concerned with issues of democracy, public services, workers rights, environmental protection, militarisation and trade. Sinn Féin was the only party that was honest about the Lisbon Treaty. We said that it was a bad deal for Ireland and that a better deal was possible. The Irish people agreed.

“The fact is that if the Lisbon Treaty had been passed Ireland would be in a weaker position today.  There would be no permanent commissioner and serious long-term implications for workers rights, public services and tax sovereignty.

“The global recession has demonstrated the failures of the economic and social policies pursued by the Irish and British governments and the European Union.  These same economic policies are pushed even further in the Lisbon Treaty. The Lisbon Treaty was flawed when they started drafting it nearly a decade ago.  It is completely unsuitable to deal with current political and economic conditions. Now more than ever it is time for a new treaty for the new times in which we find ourselves.

“Sinn Féin believes that the EU needs reform.  We need a new treaty that brings greater democracy to the EU, returning power to people and Member States.  We need a treaty that sets out economic and social policies that prioritise prosperity with equality and sustainability.  We need a treaty that protects neutrality and that sets its face against the creeping militarisation of the EU and foreign and defence policies decided by NATO.  If such a Treaty was brought forward we would support it.

“However it is my opinion that the Irish government have not secured fundamental changes to the Lisbon Treaty and it is their intention to put the Lisbon Treaty before the people for a second time and try and bully people into accepting it.

“Sinn Féin MEPs will oppose any Lisbon Treaty re-run.  Our MEPs will support the negotiation of a new Treaty for a new time, based on the recommendations made by Sinn Féin, reflecting the concerns of the Irish people.  Our MEPs will also campaign for people in the North to have a vote on any future treaty.”ENDS

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