Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Taoiseach has failed to walk the walk of Democracy

25 June, 2008

Speaking during today's Dáil debate on the recent EU Council of Ministers meeting attended Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh charged the Taoiseach with having "talked the talk of democracy but has failed to walk the walk. He has not accepted the Irish people's verdict on Lisbon, nor have his Council counterparts."

The Dublin Deputy said:

"Speaking at last weeks European Council of Ministers meeting Brian Cowen stated - "the will of the people is sovereign. They have spoken at the ballot box, the ultimate democratic forum, and the Government accepts their verdict."

"The Taoiseach has talked the talk of democracy but have failed to walk the walk. He has not accepted the Irish people's verdict on Lisbon, nor have his Council counterparts.

"If the Irish government had in fact heard the people its message to the Council would have been clear. The Lisbon Treaty is finished and ratification of it must end. It is untrue to suggest that to continue the ratification process is to uphold consensus, it is as they well know the very opposite.

"The recent Council of Ministers meeting was as dishonest as the Lisbon Treaty process itself. Following the French and Dutch rejections of the Constitution in 2005 EU leaders and faceless bureaucrats began a deeply dishonest process of stripping out all Constitutional references within the text whilst keeping the substance and maligned objectives of the Constitution intact. Why, to avoid referendums in member states.

"By the time the Lisbon Treaty was signed off on by European leaders at the end of last year the substance of the EU Constitution remained intact. Democracy and consensus did not.

"Thankfully we in Ireland uniquely have a voice, a voice denied to all other member state electorates

"Last Thursday's Council meeting hailed the loudest contradiction by European leaders, best exampled by Angela Merkel, clad in her solidarity green jacket yet firm her in her resolve that the Treaty must go on. Reassurances that the Irish vote would be respected were qualified with threats of Irish isolation, a two speed Europe and legal manoeuvres to allow the Treaty to be implemented without Irelands consent.

"Such threats are nonsense and if were perused would unravel the very fabric of the EU which is bound by consensus.

"Sinn Féin's campaign against the Treaty focussed on four central areas of concern, democracy, neutrality, workers rights and public services. Voters shared our view. We also outlined concern with respect to issues of trade, the developing world and the European Atomic Energy Treaty.

"Last Wednesday Sinn Fein presented your office with a detailed submission of what a new Treaty should contain. It represents short-term strategic reforms, which we believe are reasonable, practical and deliverable in the context of any upcoming new deal negotiation. They are the minimum required in any new Treaty." ENDS

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