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Cowen colluding with EU to push Lisbon re-run

4 December, 2008

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has today charged Taoiseach Brian Cowen with colluding with EU leaders to push a re-run of the Lisbon Treaty next year. The Dublin MEP was responding to comments made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the German lower house of Parliament following her meeting with the Taoiseach yesterday.

Ms McDonald said:

“Brian Cowen has repeatedly ignored the mandate given to him by the Irish people on their rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in June. His government has overseen the abuse of the Oireachtas by using the sub-committee on Ireland’s Future in Europe and its final report as ammunition for forcing a Lisbon re-run on the electorate. He has refused to use his meetings with European leaders as an opportunity to address the peoples concerns around key issues of concern such as neutrality, workers rights, public services, democracy and Ireland’s loss of influence in the EU. He has refused to stand up for the interests of Irish people. He has refused to even open up negotiations for a better deal.

“Following her meeting with Brian Cowen yesterday Chancellor Angela Merkel today told the German parliament that Ireland is working intensively on ratifying the Treaty. Not only is Brian Cowen refusing to stand up for Irish people he is colluding with EU leaders to force a re-run of Lisbon on the Irish people. These comments put sharply into context the Taoiseach’s inability to lead Ireland as he does a last minute whistle stop tour around Europe in advance of next weeks EU Council meeting when it is expected he will announce his intention to re-run Lisbon.

“Neither Brian Cowen nor the Minister for Foreign Affairs have even raised the renegotiation of the Treaty to address the concerns of the Irish electorate at any of their meeting’s with EU leaders.

“Angela Merkel’s comments today make it very clear that it is now firmly the Irish government’s intention to ignore the wishes of the electorate and to re-run the Lisbon Treaty referendum next year with a small number of meaningless declarations or clarifications which will have no legal relevancy whatsoever.

“People will be watching what the government say and do next week very carefully.  Riding roughshod over the people’s decision on Lisbon will not be tolerated.” ENDS

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