Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Detail of EU Council agreement on Lisbon must be released by government

12 December, 2008 - by Pat Sheehan

Responding to the agreement reached in Brussels today on re-running the Lisbon Treaty between the Irish government and EU leaders Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has described the deal as “one that raises more questions than answers.”

The Sinn Féin President said:

“Throughout the Lisbon referendum campaign we in Sinn Féin argued that a better deal was possible. We argued that the Irish peoples concerns on workers rights, public services, neutrality, democracy and tax sovereignty were valid and must be addressed.

“Taoiseach Brian Cowen and his fellow Yes Campaign supporters told the people that there was no better deal to be had. Of course today has proven this proposition wrong. However the EU Council agreement raises more questions than answers.

“What is a legally binding guarantee? Will the guarantees address all concerns raised by the Irish people? If the guarantees are to be enshrined in the Accession Treaty for Croatia for exactly are the Irish people going to be voting on next October?

“As it stands today it the government has committed itself to re-running the same Treaty the people rejected on June 12th. The deal struck is an empty promise. It will not address the substantive issues raised by the electorate time and time again before and after the Lisbon referendum.

“Sinn Féin wants to see these issues addressed. Ireland is at the heart of Europe and will remain there. We want to see Ireland’s political strength maintained.  We want to see neutrality protected. We want to see a social progress clause that will protect the pay and conditions of workers. We want to see a new approach on public services. We want to see the Irish government deliver on the mandate which they were given.

“But we also want answers. The Irish people have a right to know and understand the detail of the deal Brian Cowen has struck. If it is the Taoiseach’s intention to put the same Treaty to the people for a second time he has profoundly misjudged the public mood once again. The people have spoken on this issue.

“The Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal. The government played their part in negotiating that deal. During the Lisbon debate they told us that the Treaty could not be renegotiated. Now the Taoiseach tells us they have in fact renegotiated it and it is now a better deal.

“But as always, the devil is in the detail. When the detail of the EU Council deal is outlined by the government Sinn Féin will, as it did in advance of the Lisbon Treaty,  give our party’s considered view.” ENDS

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