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Sinn Féin challenges Irish government referendum position

30 May, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald today challenged Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern on the government's referendum position. She said "is it all very well to say that the government are just going to push ahead, but what are they going to push ahead with? The constitution has been rejected in France so it does not have the unanimous support which it requires to come into force."

Ms. McDonald said:

"It is all very well for Dermot Ahern to say that the government is going to press ahead but they need to tell us what they are going to press ahead with. The proposed Constitution requires the support of all 25-member states to be ratified, that clearly cannot happen, as it has been rejected by the French. Are the government seriously suggesting that millions of people across Europe are going to be ignored and that the referendum will be re-run in every country that rejects it until the EU bureaucrats get the result they want.

"The French people are to be congratulated. The result of their referendum must be respected.

"Their success is a major boost to all those who believe that this Constitution should be rejected because it is undemocratic, militaristic and right wing.

"Sinn Féin is totally opposed to the proposed EU Constitution. We want to see it comprehensively rejected and are leading a major campaign to bring this about. But I would challenge the Irish government , given the French rejection of the Constitution, to tell us exactly what we will be voting for if this is put to the people in the Autumn." ENDS

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