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SDLP must explain their support for Lisbon Treaty - de Brún

7 May, 2008

Sinn Féin MEP and European Agriculture Spokesperson Bairbre de Brún has today called for the SDLP to explain their support of the forthcoming Lisbon Treaty.

Ms de Brún said,

"The Lisbon referendum in the 26 counties next month not only disenfranchises voters in the North but is also a bad deal for Ireland.

"What the SDLP is advocating is the reduction of the Irish government's influence and an anti-farmer and anti- third world approach to international trade

"Why is the SDLP advocating strengthening EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson's hand as he plays havoc with the future of the Irish beef industry with no recourse for Irish farmers, and does so not for the sake of the third world but for his international trade power plays?

When critical agricultural matters are being discussed Ireland will not even have a voice at the Commission because of the loss of a permanent Irish Commissioner.This loss of power has very serious implications for the farming community north and south, alongside the fact that Ireland's influence in the Council of Ministers will be cut in half.

"The Lisbon Treaty is bad for Irish farmers and bad for rural communities and will show no progress for Irish fishing communities.

"I ask the SDLP to reconsider their position. It is possible to be in support of the EU and not support the Lisbon treaty which is bad for rural Ireland." ENDS

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