Sinn Féin - On Your Side

People of Ireland need to their have say on the future of Europe

9 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Vice President, West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has called for a referendum on the revised EU treaty in the north so that people across the island of Ireland can have their say on the future of Europe.

Speaking in the Assembly, Mr Doherty said:

"A referendum held north and south on the revised EU treaty would give the entire Irish nation an opportunity to have a say on their national future. If it is not held the imposed treaty that embodies the revised EU constitution will cause a great many problems for the people of Ireland.

"The new treaty will add to powers of the Brussels institutions, which already make the majority of our laws while reducing the powers of national states and their citizens. In making those laws, the new treaty will increase the voting weight of the bigger states and reduce that of the smaller states.

"But, perhaps most important, the treaty would in effect, create and establish a super-national state for the first time, making the new EU separate from, and superior to, its 27 member states.

"The revised treaty will contain 90% or more of the constitution that the French and Dutch voters rejected two years ago. In effect, that means that an EU elite could avoid referendums and push through issues that they deem relevant without reference to national Parliaments.

"Crucially the new treaty will also contain a mechanism to enable majority voting for European law-making to be extended to new policy areas by agreement among Governments, without the need for new treaties or treaty ratification.

"Moreover, the constitution would mean that the rights and freedoms recognised under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights would be limited to meet the objectives of general interest of the EU. Rights set out by the charter would not be fundamental after all but would be varied in the interest of the smooth running of the market." ENDS

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