Mary Lou McDonald challenges Dick Roche to a public debate on the implications of the Lisbon Treaty
Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald speaking at the Easter Commemoration in Dún Laoghaire this afternoon challenged Dick Roche to a public debate on the implications of the Lisbon Treaty for Ireland. The Dublin MEP also called for cross party unity for the cause of Irish re-unification.
Ms. McDonald said:
"I want to challenge Minister Dick Roche to a public debate on the Lisbon Treaty. It is time for him to stop hiding behind rhetoric and to start debating the facts. Sinn Féin has been very clear about our views. We believe that the Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal for Ireland. It gives too much power to EU institutions - why should we accept the loss of a permanent commissioner, why should we accept a 50% reduction in our voting strength while bigger countries like Britain and Germany almost double theirs. Why should we accept a document that doesn't even mention the word neutrality but has a lot to say about NATO?
"The simple fact is that you can support Europe and be against the Lisbon Treaty. You can support Europe and still believe that the government should have negotiated a better deal for Ireland.
"The Lisbon Treaty should be rejected. EU leaders should be sent back to the drawing board and the Irish government should do what they are being paid to do - defend Ireland's national interests."
The Dublin MEP also called for nationalists and republicans to work together in the cause of Irish unity. She said:
"Support for republican ideals is stronger now than at any time in our history. The challenge is to turn this goodwill into practical support for re-unification. The practical preparations for Irish unity need to be advanced and this requires the support of people right across the island. I want to call for cross party unity for the cause of Irish re-unification. There is no reason why all those committed to a united Ireland within Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Labour Party and others should not be working together to bring it about as quickly as possible."ENDS