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Sinn Féin warns Taoiseach to stop posturing on the draft EU Constitution and start protecting the rights of small and neutral states

25 March, 2004

Sinn Féin Dublin EU candidate Mary Lou McDonald has launched a scathing attack upon the Irish Government and their attempt to hasten a deal on the draft EU Constitutional Treaty. Speaking in advance of the spring EU summit meeting in Brussels tonight where the possibility of re-starting the Inter-Governmental Conference will be discussed, Ms McDonald said:

"We must not lose sight of the fact that this draft Constitution will disproportionately affect small and neutral states because it will accelerate a two-tier EU as well as the militarisation of the EU. We must also remember that the draft Constitution ultimately fails to redress the democratic deficit as promised by the Laeken Declaration. Redressing this deficit was one of the main hopes of citizens throughout the member states, including Ireland.

"The Taoiseach wants a deal on the EU Constitution primarily to enhance the Irish government's standing on the international stage. The problem with this posturing is that Mr Ahern is so busy playing the role of European statesman that he is ignoring the very negative impact the draft EU Constitution will have on Ireland and the other small and neutral states of the EU if agreed.

"Sinn Féin urges the Irish Government to rethink its priorities in relation to an EU Constitution, a bad deal is worse than no deal at all."ENDS

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