Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Ireland's place in Europe is secure

14 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has today criticised government for attempting to bully the Irish people into a yes vote.

The Dublin MEP said:

"Irelands place in Europe is secure. The French and Dutch experienced no economic fall out from their decision to reject the EU Constitution, Irelands experience will be no different.

"Yesterday Minister of State for Europe Dick Roche shamefully told journalists that a Vote No would be detrimental to Irelands direct foreign investment and today Taoiseach Bertie Ahern nonsensically stated a Vote Yes will secure Ireland's future, its economy and Irish jobs.

"This trotted out tactic suggests to me that the government is intent on avoiding a real debate on the substantive content of the Treaty. Why is this?

"Perhaps it is for the same reason that they refuse to distribute a consolidated version of the Treaty text to each household throughout the state and indeed to name the date of the referendum despite repeated calls from all corners of Irish society for them to do so.

"To debate the Treaty content is to have a debate on the peoples' vision for Europe. This is not a debate proponents of the Treaty want us to have.

"Taoiseach Ahern recently challenged those who oppose the Treaty to list five positive reasons why rejecting the Treaty is in Ireland interest. Sinn Féin's five positive reasons are listed below.

"To critically and constructively engage in the shaping of Europe's future rather than blindly follow the dictates of its distant elites is an act of responsibly. To bully and bamboozle the Irish people into a Treaty so obviously not in their interest is reckless." ENDS

Note to Editor:

Sinn Féin's Five Positive Reasons why rejecting the Treaty is in Ireland interest:

- It will force our political leaders to return to the negotiating table and secure a better deal the next time round.

- It will create the opportunity for greater democracy in the EU.

- It will allow the government to secure a specific article protecting Irish neutrality.

- It will create the opportunity for new provisions promoting and protecting public services.

- It will allow the government to secure opt outs from EURATOM, the European Defence Agency, and others contributions to EU military expenditure.

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