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Fianna Fáil stoop to new low on Lisbon

23 October, 2008 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has today described attempts by the government to manipulate how public debates take place in the future on the Lisbon Treaty as a "shameful example of how low Fianna Fáil will stoop to reverse the people's decision on Lisbon."

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Fianna Fáil Deputy Sean Ardagh's announcement today that the Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution is examining the possibility of reversing the Coughlan judgment of 2000 which secured that the Yes and No arguments during a referendum campaign get equal access on RTE is a shameful example of how low Fianna Fáil will stoop to reverse the people's decision on Lisbon.

"This is yet another underhand tactic by the government who are clearly intent on manipulating any future public referendum debate. Rather than simply get on with the job of addressing the issues raised during the Lisbon debate on workers rights, public services, democracy, tax sovereignty and defence policy Fianna Fáil are exhausting every avenue to sideline the electorate.

"Just this week Fianna Fáil MEPs voted against a Social Progress Clause to be included in any future Treaties put to member states following a parliamentary debate in Strasbourg on the Andersson Report. The report has been prepared by the European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee in response to recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulings on the Laval, Viking and Ruffert cases.

"Trade unions across Europe including SIPTU and UNITE here in Ireland have called for a Social Progress Clause to be attached to the Lisbon Treaty. Workers rights were a key concern in the Lisbon debate yet despite this Fianna Fáil voted against the clause in Europe and here at home are endeavouring to shut down alternative voices." ENDS

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