Sinn Féin - On Your Side

British decision on EU referendum highlights need for real consultation with the people - Bairbre de Brún

6 June, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today said that the no votes in France and the Netherlands open up the possibility for 'real and meaningful dialogue between national governments and citizens on the future direction of Europe'.

Ms de Brún made her comments before the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was expected to shelve plans at Westminster to introduce a parliamentary bill which would pave the way for a referendum in Britain on the EU Constitution. Citizens in the Six Counties would also have the opportunity to vote in any future EU referendum.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said:

"The people of both France and the Netherlands have spoken, and they have comprehensively rejected the EU Constitution. In light of today's expected statement by Jack Straw to the British Parliament, that the EU referendum will be shelved, it is imperative that the people are made aware of the plans of the European leaders.

"The No votes in both France and the Netherlands have ensured that very serious and far-reaching questions must now be asked of European leaders. Where does this process go now? It is clear that the EU Constitution is dead, but a commitment is now required that the EU will accept the will of the Dutch and French electorate.

"Now is the time for a real and genuine debate on the future direction of Europe. Sinn Féin has long called for honest consultation with the people. In Ireland, north and south it is imperative that the democratic deficit on the direction of European politics is bridged.

"Here in the European Parliament, Sinn Féin MEPs will continue to act as watchdogs. We will not accept this Constitution to be ratified by stealth. What is required is real and meaningful debate, not an attempt to ratify this constitution by any means necessary." ENDS

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