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Roche Gets It Wrong On International Trade Veto

22 May, 2008


Sinn Fein Senator Pearse Doherty has said that "Dick Roche is wrong on the consequences of the Lisbon Treaty for international trade negotiations."

Speaking today Minister for Europe Dick Roche said that Ireland will retain its ability to veto international trade agreements under the Lisbon Treaty. He argued that current vetoes on issues such as investment, intellectual property and public services were retained in the Lisbon Treaty. He also argued policy areas such as transport also provided vetoes.

Senator Doherty said:

"Dick Roche has made a number of claims today regarding the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on Ireland's ability to veto international trade agreements. He claimed that current vetoes on the basis of public services, investment and intellectual property were not affected by Lisbon. He also claimed that policy areas such as transport provided additional vetoes.

"Mr Roche is wrong on all counts. Currently both investment and transport are governed by qualified majority under Articles 64 and 90 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community. Article 97 of the Lisbon Treaty makes intellectual property subject to the ordinary legislative procedure, which again is governed by qualified majority. Article 188C of the Lisbon Treaty removes the general veto with respect to public services.

"Clearly Dick Roche is clutching at straws. His reading of the existing treaty provisions and the Lisbon Treaty is wrong. It is time Dick Roche came clean and told Irish farmers the truth, that the Lisbon Treaty undermines the ability of the government to block trade deals that are bad for rural Ireland." ENDS

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