Government have still not told us why they are holding an EU referendum -Mary Lou McDonald
Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today said that Sinn Féin is ready to lead a campaign opposing the constitution. Ms McDonald also said that the government must accept that the unanimity required for this constitution to take effect is not forthcoming. They must be upfront on this matter with the electorate.
Ms McDonald made her comments after the Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern announced that the government will hold a referendum on the EU Constitution. In addition Minister Ahern said that the treaty can be salvaged if the French and Dutch are asked to think again.
Speaking from Strasbourg Ms McDonald said:
"In light of Minister Ahern's remarks that a referendum on the EU Constitution will be held in this state, I wish to reiterate my call to the government to clearly inform the people precisely what they will be voting on. There needs to be an unambiguous explanation as to the status of any future referendum put before the people, given that the Constitution has been comprehensively rejected by two member states already.
"Minister Ahern's belief that the people of both member states should re-think their decision on the EU Constitution shows a blatant disregard for the democratic will of the French and Dutch people. He wants the people of the Netherlands and France to think, re-think and think again until they vote the way the European elites want them to.
"Had the Dutch and French supported the Constitution would they have been urged to re-evaluate their decision by Minister Ahern? Of course they would not. The full import of Minister Ahern's comments will not be lost on the Irish people who saw the government re-run the NICE referendum until it got the result it wanted.
"Sinn Féin welcomes any opportunity for the Irish people to have their say on the future of the EU. We are ready for a referendum campaign. Sinn Féin will be calling on all of those who want to build an alternative progressive Europe to join with us in rejecting this constitution." ENDS