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Lisbon Treaty is not in Ireland's interests

13 December, 2007

Speaking ahead of today’s signing of the Lisbon Treaty by EU Heads of State Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald said “whilst the need for Ireland to have its place at the EU table is obvious, we must use that place positively. Our international reputation is not so fragile that we must always act as ‘yes men’ to preserve it even when so obviously the best course of action is to say no.”

The Dublin MEP said:


“Many benefits have come as a result of our membership of the European Union and as an MEP I support EU and other Europe wide measures that are in Ireland’s interests. But I am not afraid to stand up against EU measures that are damaging to Ireland’s interests and have strongly opposed moves towards a federalised EU dominated by the larger states.


“Proponents of the Treaty have started their campaign on a negative note. Charlie McCreevy the Taoiseach and Dick Roche have told us opposition to the treaty is ‘isolationist’ and would make Ireland a ‘laughing stock’.  The people of France and the Netherlands showed no signs of such an inferiority complex.  They had a mature debate and took their democratic decision, and still the world of the EU kept spinning.


“The Lisbon Treaty contains the most substantial transfer of powers from member states to the European Council and Commission to date. The impact of this move cannot be underestimated or treated lightly; it is a mammoth move towards a super state. 105 new competences will be given to the EU in the Lisbon Treaty and a further 68 areas which will move from consensus decision making to majority voting. The EU will have control over immigration, structural funds, judicial and police co-operation, economic policy guidelines for Eurozone members and initiatives of the new Foreign Minister.


“EU military ambition - to be a global player acting in concert with NATO - is clearly set out in the Treaty. It also requires member state to progressively ‘improve military capabilities’.  I am in no doubt that this is something which the majority of people in this country are opposed to. It is telling that the Irish government did not even try to secure a specific article in the Lisbon Treaty explicitly recognizing the rights and duties of neutral states within the Union.  Their lip service to neutrality over the years has undermined our reputation abroad in relation to an independent foreign policy and peace keeping. 


“EU economies must be competitive. But competitiveness can not be secured at the cost of environmental sustainability or social cohesion. Unfortunately this is precisely the direction of current EU economic policy, advancing the agenda of deregulation, privatisation and low public spending. Ratifying the Lisbon Treaty will serve to accelerate this economic agenda.” CRÍOCH


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