Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Ferris and Gildernew in Roscommon and Leitrim campaign against Lisbon treaty

6 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesperson Martin Ferris TD and Sinn Féin's Agriculture Minister in the Six Counties Michelle Gildernew are visiting Roscommon and Leitrim today to meet with local community groups and the local IFA in both counties. Deputy Ferris and Ms. Gildernew will be joined by local Sinn Féin representative Martin Kenny to outline why Sinn Féin believes the Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal for rural communities and farmers.

Speaking ahead of the visit Deputy Ferris said, "Sinn Féin is actively engaging with rural communities as part of our campaign against the Lisbon Treaty. We are outlining to the Farming Community and to Rural Ireland why we believe that the Lisbon treaty is a bad deal for them.

"We have produced a leaflet which outlines five reasons why the Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal for Farming and Rural Ireland.

"EU Agriculture policy has been bad for family farms. EU policy has led to the closure of the Sugar Beet Industry. It is actively undermining the provision of vital services to rural communities including post offices. EU policy has become synonymous with red tape and bureaucracy and rural Ireland is feeling the symptoms of that.

"Farmers need to be aware that passing the Lisbon Treaty will strengthen EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson's hand as he attempts to dilute trade barriers. In fact it will copperfasten such policies allowing Mandelson to negotiate the future of the Irish beef industry with no recourse for Irish farmers.

"Article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty gives the European Commission 'exclusive competence' over international trade agreements. Article 10 of the Treaty makes 'the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade' a key aim of the EU. Article 188 states that decisions on international trade will be taken by qualified majority vote.

"Simply put, the Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal for the Farming Community and for Rural Ireland." ENDS

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