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Referendum re-run not acceptable

23 April, 2004

Sinn Féin Six County EU candidate Bairbre de Brún has today said that the British Prime Minister Tony Blair 'is no more interested in the will of the people on the EU than the Irish government'.

Ms de Brún's comments came after Mr Blair made comments in the British Parliament yesterday (22.04.04) indicating that a second referendum on the draft Constitution could be held, if Britain failed to win a Yes vote at the first attempt.

Speaking today, Ms de Brún said:

"Mr Blair's clear implication in the British Parliament yesterday, is that if the British people reject the EU referendum, then he will re-run the vote until he achieves the right decision. The British Prime Minister is no more interested in the will of the people on the EU than the Irish government.

"The people of Ireland are acutely aware of the attitude of the 26 County government on EU matters. In 2001, the people rejected the Nice Treaty, and the government brazenly put exactly the same treaty in front of the Irish people again. It is quite clear that the government would have re-run the Nice Treaty referendum until they had reached the verdict they wanted.

"The two Nice Treaty referendums exposed the lie that the Irish government were interested in democracy. They refused to accept the democratic will of the people, and foisted a second treaty upon them. It is clear that Mr Blair will do exactly the same thing. This is a travesty of democracy.

"Naturally, nationalists and republicans in the Six Counties would prefer to cast their vote in a referendum taking place on an all Ireland basis. In the past people in the Six Counties have had no say at all. Therefore, I welcome the fact that they will be able to cast their vote on this important issue.

"A re-run of the referendum on the draft EU Constitution is not acceptable in any part of Ireland." ENDS

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