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de Brún sets out case for ‘No’ vote in Lisbon II referendum to SDLP Youth

5 September, 2009 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún today set out the arguments for a ‘No’ vote in the second referendum being held in the 26 counties on the Lisbon Treaty to the SDLP Youth Conference in Belfast. She shared a platform with SDLP MLA Alban Maginness.

The first referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was rejected by over 900,000 Irish citizens.

Ms de Brún said:

“Although citizens in the North will be denied a vote in referendum on the Lisbon Treaty it is important to debate the issues involved.

“The vote that Irish people cast against the Lisbon Treaty was not a vote against the EU. The debate is not about whether or not we belong. Ireland’s place in the EU is secure. The debate is about the future shape of the EU.

“We are told that Irish concerns have been addressed by the European Council. Yet what are described as guarantees are in fact nothing more than clarifications. They do not alter the text of the Treaty in any way.

“On October 2nd people will be voting on exactly the same treaty, with exactly the same consequences for Ireland and the EU, as last year.

“The Lisbon Treaty was meant to address concerns about the lack of democracy within the EU but it actually makes the situation worse. It further centralises decision making and undermines the role of smaller nations and larger states like France and Germany will increase their voting strength at Council by 50%.

“The Lisbon Treaty also further undermines neutrality and commits the EU to a common defence policy, and an EU defence and foreign policy that must be compatible with NATO.

“It is also a threat to workers rights. The Treaty provides the EU with a mandate to remove ‘distortions’ to service provision which is likely to lead to further undermining of workers' rights and further liberalisation and ultimately privatisation of public services.

“There are concerns about the impact of the treaty on the developing world. It undermines the EU objective of tackling global poverty and will accelerate the growing differential between the developing and developed world.

“There is now considerable scare-mongering about the possible loss of investment, jobs, and support from our EU counterparts. In reality, the cause of the recession is the failed economic policies of the Irish government and their counterparts; policies of deregulation and competition which are now reflected in the Treaty. The route to economic recovery rests not in the Lisbon Treaty, but in a change of policy at home and within the EU.” ENDS

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