Taoiseach & Enda Kenny join forces to halt debate on EU Reform Treaty
Speaking today from the EU Inter Governmental Conference on the Reform Treaty taking place in Lisbon Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has demanded that the Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny engage in an open and honest debate with the Irish people on the Treaty contents.
MEP McDonald said:
“A sensible and robust debate needs to be had on the EU Reform Treaty. This Inter Governmental Conference could provide the Taoiseach with a platform from which to ensure the best interests of the people are won before the Reform Treaty is signed off on.
“Rather than prioritising Irelands interests in the area of neutrality, sovereignty and social provisions we see the taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny monopolise the IGC event with a single issue.
“Opting out of new structures in the pact relating to judicial co-operation, criminal matters and police co-operation is just one, albeit important, element of the overall debate.
“Cynically of course this suits both party leaders. They can fight over the judicial and security opt out in the media playground knowing that such tomfoolery will divert attention away from the substantive content of the Treaty of which they both fully endorse.
“Why are both leaders not using their respective positions in Lisbon to defend Irish neutrality to be enshrined in the Treaty? Why is the Taoiseach not fighting hard for Irish opt out of making any financial contributions to the European Defence Agency or any other area of military expenditure?
“Would their collective hot air not be better spent on securing an opt-out from provisions in the Treaty that restrict state aid thus allowing member state governments some leniency to intervene to save domestic industries in crisis.
“It is deeply disappointing that yet again Taoiseach Ahern has engaged in a critical EU debate as if he were a poor second cousin rather than a Head of State.
“Bertie Ahern appears to care little for the best interests for the Irish people and more so in securing the job of President of the European Council when he steps down from Irish politics. This job will not actually exist unless the Reform Treaty is passed.” CRÍOCH