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Ferris calls on Farmers to say No to Lisbon

27 August, 2009 - by Martin Ferris TD

Speaking this morning Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris said “the Lisbon Treaty was a bad deal for rural Ireland in 2008 and it remains a bad deal today”. The Kerry North TD called on ‘Farmers to say No to Lisbon.’

Deputy Ferris said:

“Padraig Walshe has this morning called on Irish farmers to support the Lisbon Treaty.

“During the last Lisbon referendum there were serious concerns raised by the farming community about the World Trade Organisation trade talks. Irish farmers and development NGOs are rightly concerned at the agenda being pursued by the then European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, an agenda that was bad for Irish farmers and the developing world.

“The approach of that Trade Commissioner is part of a pattern that emerged under his predecessors Pascal Lammy and Leon Brittan and is continuing since he left under the current Commissioner Catherine Ashton.

“The Commission’s trade agenda aggressively promotes free trade irrespective of the costs to European family farms and rural communities, or the world poorest communities and countries.

“Article 2 (b) of the Lisbon Treaty gives the EU exclusive competence over commercial policy, including the negotiating of international trade agreements.

“Article 188C contains new provisions that will considerably strengthen the Commission in its pursuit of free trade over fair trade.

“If the Lisbon Treaty is passed the EU Commission will have the power to initiate and conclude international trade agreements and in all but the most exceptional circumstances the Irish government will no longer have a veto at the European Council. This would allow the European Commission, with the support of the Irish government, to do with the farming industry exactly what they have done with the fishing industry.

“For this reason I am calling on all Irish farmers to vote No to the Lisbon Treaty.” ENDS

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