Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Deception at the heart of Lisbon Treaty Yes Campaign

23 April, 2008

"Speaking during this afternoon's Dáil debate on the 29th Amendment to the Constitution Bill Sinn Féin's Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD slammed the on going deception of EU institutions at the behest of the Irish government on central issues contained in and related to the Lisbon Treaty. Speaking ahead of the debate Deputy Ó Caoláin noted "the question must be asked, if the Lisbon Treaty is so good for Ireland why are all the EU institutions, at the behest of the Irish government, working so hard to keep so much from the Irish electorate in advance of the referendum."

Deputy Ó Caolain said:

"Following negative feedback on the EU Heath Directive President Barroso instructed the Commission not to take unpopular initiatives during the Lisbon Treaty discussions. The EU Health Commissioner then delayed the publication of the cross-border healthcare until after the Irish referendum.

"A leaked memo outlining a briefing by a senior official in the Department of Foreign Affairs acknowledged Margart Wallstrom's reassurance that the Commission was willing to "tone down or delay messages that might be unhelpful" to the Irish referendum.

"The powerful EU Constitutional Committee Chairperson Jo Leinen wrote to Chairpersons of EU committees advising them that "any documents concerning 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" again, until after the Irish referendum.

"Last weeks EU Observer reported that a public debate on EU budgetary reform launched last September has been given two additional months, with diplomats suggesting that the additional time is a result of the 'EU tiptoeing around Ireland' as the controversial debate includes possible cuts in farm subsidies.

"Deception is the name of the game for the 'Yes's camp but they should remember the old saying: "What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."
In his contribution Deputy Ruairi Quinn said we have to support the Treaty, it is not perfect but "it is the only Europe around". That is false. We have a choice. We can say 'No' to the drive towards the type of Europe envisaged by Commission President Jose Barroso who once said 'Sometimes I like to compare the EU as a creation to the organisation of Empire. We have the dimensions of Empire.'

"Sinn Féin TDs have set out the arguments against the Lisbon Treaty. We set out the direct implications for Ireland if the Lisbon Treaty is passed in terms of the loss of power, neutrality, public services, workers' rights, rural Ireland and the economy. We have also set out in clear terms what the Irish Government should do in negotiations for a new Treaty. So I would like to conclude by calling on the electorate to participate in the debate, to come out and vote 'NO' and send the government back to secure a better deal for Ireland." CRÍOCH

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