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Roche seeks to deceive citizens on Lisbon Treaty - McDonald

11 April, 2008

Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has today criticised Minister of State for Europe Dick Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has today criticised Minister of State for Europe Dick Roche for seeking to deceive citizens on the implications of the Lisbon Treaty for Ireland.

Speaking at a debate with Minister Roche on the Lisbon Treaty held in City Hall in Dublin and organised by the Dublin Regional Authority Ms McDonald said:

"Minister Roche just yesterday made a commitment to the Irish people that an EU common tax base will never be implemented in Ireland. He also said that Peter Mandelson's much maligned WTO negotiation proposals will not reach agreement next month.

"Minister Roche has made these commitments in the full knowledge that he cannot keep them. But lets be frank there is nothing new in this. Minister Roche, like his fellow government Ministers will say anything to secure a Yes vote in the forthcoming Lisbon Treaty.

"I have in my hand a letter from the powerful EU Constitutional Committee sent to all Committee Chairpersons requesting that 'any document concerning the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon which addresses politically sensitive matters be examined only when it becomes sufficiently clear that the Treaty will enter into force.'

"In addition we have sensitive reports of huge significance for the national interest of member states that have been shelved by the EU until after the referendum here in Ireland. A controversial Health Directive and a report by the EU taxation Commissioner Kovacs have both been put on hold. As Minister of State for Europe Dick Roche knows this yet still he makes ludicrous commitments in an effort to shut down debate on the implications of the Treaty.

"Even Taoiseach Ahern this week stated in the Dáil in response to a question put to him by my colleague Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin that the government is opposed to NATO yet the very same government are demanding that the Irish people support a Treaty that makes numerous references to NATO obligations and compatibility.

"Minister Roche is deliberately deceiving the Irish people and shutting down their democratic right to a transparent, frank and robust debate on the implications and the detail of the Lisbon Treaty." ENDS

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