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Fine Gael must tell truth on Ireland’s loss of VETO

3 May, 2008

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has today criticised Fine Gael for misleading its own base as well as the wider farming and agricultural communities on the implications of the Lisbon Treaty to their livelihoods.

Ms McDonald said:

"Enda Kenny recently urged the Irish government to use its veto at the European Council of Ministers if the outcome of the WTO trade talks is bad for Irish farming. Sinn Féin agrees with the Fine Gael leader on this issue, the Irish government should use its veto. But this then begs the question, why on earth are Fine Gael in tandem urging farmers to give up this veto?

"Currently the Trade Commissioner goes to WTO negotiations with a mandate agreed at the Council of Ministers. The Trade Commissioner then returns to the Council who have to agree by unanimity to the negotiations outcomes. If the deal negotiated is a bad one for Ireland the government can veto it.

"This ability for Ireland to veto decisions not in the interests of Irish farmers will be lost with the Lisbon Treaty. Article 188 of the Treaty replaces unanimity decision making on the Council of Ministers with qualified majority voting (QMV) on trade decisions. This removes Ireland's ability to veto decisions. This is a fact.

"It is scandalous that Fine Gael refuses to outline this simple truth to its own base and the wider framing communities, pandering instead to a faceless bureaucracy who is happy to sacrifice European farming in exchange for access to global markets." CRÍOCH

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