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Morgan addresses Laois Lisbon Treaty meeting

14 May, 2008

Louth Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan was the main speaker at a public meeting in Laois yesterday evening on the Lisbon Treaty. Also speaking at the meeting were Laois Sinn Féin Councillor Brian Stanley and Unite trade union official Brendan Ogle. The meeting was chaired by the Secretary of Laois Sinn Féin Alan Hand.

In his address to the meeting Deputy Morgan said, "The Government argues that the Lisbon Treaty is simply a matter of making the institutions of the EU work in a more efficient manner. They argue that 27 EU Commissioners is too complicated a number to work the institutions efficiently. However, this evening (Tuesday 13th May) Taoiseach Brian Cowen has retained 20 Junior Ministers bringing to 35 the total number of Ministers in Ireland, a country with 1% of the population of the EU. The efficiency argument is simply a red herring designed to disguise the dilution of the democracy of the EU Commission.

"This state's neutrality is being systematically eroded through the use of Irish tax-payers' money to support the European Defence Agency, our involvement in the Rapid Reaction Force, Partnership for Peace and the EU Battle Groups and the use of Shannon Airport by US troops on their way to the war in Iraq.

"The Lisbon Treaty expands this erosion of our neutrality expanding the range of potential missions including joint disarmament operations, military advice and assistance tasks and post conflict stabilisation.

"While Ireland will retain the right to opt out of military interventions, a new procedure contained in Lisbon allows for mini alliances of member states. These mini alliances can agree a foreign policy or military intervention to be carried out with the finance and logistical resources provided by the EU. This means that Ireland would be helping to fund military operations by other EU states eroding our neutrality even further.

"The Lisbon Treaty also endorses the Euratom Treaty which supports nuclear power. The Government currently spends approximately €8million a year in support of Euratom. No effort was made by the Government to get an opt-out or to see the endorsement of Euratom withdrawn entirely during the negotiations on the Treaty.

"The Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal for Ireland. Only by voting no on this Treaty can we give the Government a stronger hand to negotiate a better deal on a future Treaty. If this Treaty is passed we can never reverse the measures included in it. I urge all voters to reject this Treaty." ENDS

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