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Sinn Féin will oppose government plans to re-run Lisbon Treaty

3 November, 2008

Speaking from Leinster House this morning Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has described Brian Cowen handling of Ireland’s post Lisbon political realities as the actions of a political leader “adrift and out of touch.”

The Dublin MEP said:

“Despite Brian Cowen having ample opportunity to inform the Oireachtas last week during a Dáil discussion on the recent EU Council meeting of his intention to re-run the Lisbon Treaty the Taoiseach farcically chose instead to ‘leak’ the information to the weekend media.

“As the government’s recent budget roll backs have illustrated the Taoiseach is clearly adrift and out of touch.

“Sinn Féin understands the political pressure that the Taoiseach is under to resolve the political issues arising out Ireland’s rejection of Lisbon. We have sought to work with him to address the many key issues of concern to the electorate particularly in the areas of workers rights, public services, tax sovereignty and democracy. But Brian Cowen seems intent instead to sit on his hands waiting for s solution to drop out of the sky, or as it now seems until President Sarkozy tells him what to do.

“However I share President Sarkozy’s frustrations with the Taoiseach. Despite the peoples rejection of Lisbon Brian Cowen has done little or nothing to move the issue on. He has shown no political leadership. He has shown no ability to negotiate with our European partners on key issues of concern to the Irish people such as the protection of democracy, workers rights, public services and tax sovereignty.

“Instead he and Foreign Minister Micheál Martin are wandering around the halls of Leinster House with a costly post Lisbon research document telling them what we all already knew in one hand and an Oireachtas  sub committee that will be used as a lunch pad for the Treaty re run in the other.

“Despite how Brian Cowen and the Yes Campaign try to spin the current political realities surrounding Lisbon, the facts are as they are. We are not on the political fringes of EU institutions. Ireland remains integrated within the European economy. Had Brian Cowen gone to his EU partners following Ireland’s rejection of the Treaty to negotiate better terms for the people in the form of; a social progress clause for workers, strengthening of key vetoes on public services, taxation and international trade, sought to secure the removal of all self amending clauses including Article 48 and the retention of Ireland’s permanent Commissioner he would not have to be skulking around Brussels waiting for President Sarkozy to bully him into action in advance of Decembers EU summit.

“Brian Cowen has a choice. He can chose to lead Ireland in it’s commitment to a European Union of equals or he can chose to act as mere signatory to what ever bad deal the union throws at us.” ENDS

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