Sinn Féin launch EU referendum campaign
Speaking today Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP called on Irish voters to reject the proposed EU Constitution in forthcoming referenda, which are expected to take place north and south in 2005 and 2006. He called on the Taoiseach to publish the government's proposals immediately and to put the referendum to the people this Autumn.
Mr. Adams said:
"On Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May, Sinn Féin will be hosting a major conference with speakers from across Europe on the consequences of the proposed EU Constitution. We believe that the proposed EU Constitution is not in the interests of the people of Ireland
"Sinn Féin will be vigorously opposing the Constitution in the two referenda which are expected to take place in the south in 2005 and in the north in 2006. This is the first time that people in the north will have a say. We urge all sections of public opinion, particularly those in trade unions, community organisations, human rights groups as well as supporters of other political parties to join with us in opposing this Constitution.
"I am calling on the government to publish their referendum proposals as quickly as possible and to put the referendum to the people this Autumn. The Taoiseach has said that he wants a 'focused, balanced and serious debate based on the facts'. He now needs to set out how that debate will take place. People have different views regarding the future direction of the EU and that needs to be reflected and the serious inadequacies of the Referendum Commission need to be immediately addressed. I am also calling on the government to respect the decision of the electorate.
"The debate on the EU Constitution is not between pro and anti Europeans. It is a debate over different visions for the future of the EU.
"Sinn Féin wants to see an EU that promotes sustainable growth, environmental protection, social and economic equality, human rights and global justice. Since last years EU elections Sinn Féin has been to the forefront of the ongoing campaigns for an alternative vision of the EU which is democratic, accountable and which operates in the interests of ordinary people.‰ENDS