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Honest and mature debate needed on Lisbon Treaty – Doherty

25 August, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Fein senator Pearse Doherty has today called for an “honest and mature debate” on the Lisbon Treaty in the coming weeks. The Donegal representative also called on people to “read the treaty” before they decide which way to vote on October 2nd.

Mr Doherty said:

“In the past week the public debate on the Lisbon Treaty has started to intensify with Yes and No campaigners, including Sinn Fein, laying out our stalls. Already a broad range of issues including the economy, neutrality, farming, fishing and democracy have been the subject of claim and counterclaim.

“Sinn Fein is calling on both the yes and no sides to engage in an open, honest and mature debate. Neither side is served by exaggerated or unfounded claims. Nor is either side served by scaremongering.

“What is needed is a serious debate about the content of the Treaty and its implications for Ireland and the EU.

“Sinn Fein is committed to such a debate. Our approach will be to shine a light on the Treaty text and attempt to explain its meaning and implications.

“Those of us opposing the Treaty also have a responsibility to outline what we see as the the alternatives to Lisbon. Saying no is simply not enough.

“I am also urging the electorate to read the Treaty for themselves before they decide how to vote on October 2. Despite being a complex legal document, many of its sections are perfectly understandable to the lay reader.

“This treaty will significantly alter the shape and direction of the EU for decades to come. It is vital that the general public are engaged in the debate and feel sufficiently informed to vote on October 2nd. All protagonists in the debate, politicians, civic society, the government and the media have a responsibility in this regard. An honest and mature debate will lead to a more informed public and an increased turnout.” ENDS

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