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McDonald calls for debate with FF on economic implications of Lisbon

27 March, 2008

Speaking in response to Fianna Fáil Minister Willy O Dea, Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has called on the minister "to name the time and the place for a high profile public debate on the economic implications of the Lisbon Treaty for Ireland."

McDonald said, "Sinn Féin wants a serious and honest debate on the content of the Lisbon Treaty and its implications for the Irish and European economies.

"I challenge Minister O'Dea or any other Fianna Fáil minister to name the time and the place for a high profile public debate on this matter. Sinn Féin is ready for such a debate.

"It is our view that the Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal for the Irish economy. It will be bad for Irish agriculture, bad for Irish public services and it will not provide Ireland or the EU with the necessary tools or policies required to meet the challenges facing our economy in the coming years.

"The Irish economy urgently needs investment in education, health and infrastructure, both to improve our competitiveness and address growing levels of inequality in Irish society. EU trade policy urgently needs a change of direction if Irish agriculture is not to be further undermined.

"The government is running scared of these facts, and is trying to scare voters with spurious arguments about foreign direct investment and job losses. Unable to offer any positive reasons in support of the Lisbon Treaty the government is resorting to groundless scaremongering." ENDS

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