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Sinn Féin expresses anger over European Parliament insult to Ireland

20 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou Mc Donald has this afternoon expressed her "anger and incredulity" over the European Parliaments vote today NOT to respect the result of the Lisbon Treaty referendum.


By a huge majority (499 to 129) European MEPs, including Labour's Proinsias De Rossa voted against the motion ‘The European Parliament undertakes to respect the outcome of the referendum in Ireland’.


Mary Lou McDonald said:  "Sinn Féin have been consistently saying that there is a real danger of Ireland becoming marginalised and irrelevant if the Lisbon Treaty is passed. The Treaty reduces our voting strength and our automatic right to a Commissioner. This vote today provides an instant snapshot of the attitude of dominance that infects all the European Intuitions, an attitude that the wishes of the citizens of the EU are irrelevant."


“Bizarrely, Labour MEP Proinsias De Rossa who is actively campaigning for a Yes vote in the forthcoming referendum, voted against the motion. Mr. De Rossa has some explaining to do. When in Ireland he is busy campaigning for a Yes vote primarily on the basis that it will 'strengthen European democracy', yet today he has voted to dismiss the future democratic wishes for the very people he is elected to represent.


“Today's vote goes to the very heart of all that is wrong with the Lisbon Treaty. When the EU Constitution failed to win popular EU leaders returned in June 2007 with the Lisbon Treaty. All but 10 of the 250 or so Articles of the new treaty are the same as its predecessor, a 96% match.


"Those political leaders across the EU, including Ireland, believe that it is acceptable to ignore the outcome of the French and Dutch referenda and return with the same proposals is an indication of their disregard for basic democratic principles.  No doubt these very same EU parliamentarians make up the 499 MEPs who voted against respecting the Irish people's position on the Treaty.” ENDS


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