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Government turnaround must be scrutinised

23 February, 2008

Responding to this mornings revelation that the government intends to include provisions in the Lisbon Treaty referendum relating to Ireland’s neutrality Sinn Féin National Chairperson and Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has described the move as a vindication of Sinn Féin’s analysis of the Lisbon Treaty text.

The Dublin MEP said:

“Over the last number of weeks proponents of the Treaty including the Taoiseach, Minister of State for Europe, Fine Gael and Labour have repeatedly rubbished Sinn Féin’s position that Irish neutrality will be further undermined by the Lisbon Treaty.

“Today’s revelation that government intends to include a constitutional provision on neutrality in the referendum text is a vindication of Sinn Féin’s position.

“However when presented with the text of the provisions we must ask ourselves will Ireland’s neutrality be copperfastened as claimed by government.

“Will the proposed provisions halt the further consolidation of the EUs control over foreign and security policy of member states, will they guarantee that increased amounts of Irish taxpayers money will not be spent on Irish and EU military capabilities and will they reinforce the EUs relationship with the UN and in turn distance it from NATO? 

“It is worth remembering that despite the Triple Lock provision of Nice 2 Irish soldiers can take part in EU military interventions without the sanction of a UN resolution due to a change in legislation last year.  Unless the governments proposed provisions specifically reject Articles 27 and 28 of the Treaty, which for example commit Europe to a ‘common defense’ and obligate member states ‘to undertake progressively to improve their military capabilities’, then this intervention is at best cosmetic and at worst a cynical effort by government to bury the neutrality debate.” CRÍOCH 

For further information contact:

Sinéad Ní Bhroin 087 9266764


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