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Sovereignty of each nation state must be respected in relation to EU Constitution

21 June, 2005

Welcoming the votes against the draft EU Constitution by France and Holland during Statements on the European Council Sinn Féin spokesperson on International Affairs, Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the sovereignty of each nation state should be respected in relation to the national ratification processes. He went on to say that he would welcome an "opportunity for the Irish people to have our say by referendum and to continue with the progressive campaign against this neo-liberal superstate."

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said: "In our view, the national ratification processes, whether by referendum or by parliamentary votes, should be seen as freestanding events in which the sovereignty of each nation is respected. Each country should express its view of the proposed EU Constitution, and then the EU leaders should assess the total outcome. If one other country votes YES, if one other country votes NO, this should not affect the democratic right of the Irish people to express our own view of the matter.

"I welcome the opportunity for the Irish people to have our say by referendum, and to continue with the progressive campaign against this neoliberal superstate Constitution. I hope and I believe that the Irish referendum will add weight to the French and Dutch rejections, and the sooner the better.

"In addition, the treaty text is complex and the reasons it should be rejected are many -- the Irish and the French and the Dutch and the British and the Czechs and the Danish may all have different reasons, and all should have to be taken into account in any new negotiation when the peoples of Europe eventually force the EU leaders back to the drawing board.

"As for the EU elites and federalists, they are running scared of the democratic will of the peoples of the EU. Arch-federalist and architect of the EU Constitution Giscard D'Estaing expressed perfectly the attitude of this new oligarchy when he lamented that the French voters had actually read the document following its distribution to every household. This despite the pretext that the purpose of the new text is merely to "clarify and consolidate" existing agreements to make them more accessible to the public, as claimed by our own Taoiseach who sealed the deal. No, D'Estaing insisted, to the contrary, it is just not possible to understand the document if you read it. Well I want the federalists inside this House and out to be clear on this. You can't have it both ways. You need to face the reality that when people educate themselves about the European project you have built they will reject it. The EU you want and what the people want are not the same. Meanwhile it is our job of work to prove that another, more equal, more democratic EU is possible.

"This deep-freeze or suspension or whatever you want to call it is nothing but an EU con job, a stall for time by leaders who have been humiliated once more by the democratic will of the peoples they purport to represent at the EU negotiating table.

"So I say, bring on the Irish referendum and let the people decide. The more countries that say no to your neo-liberal federal superstate project the better. We're ready and we'll defeat you." ENDS

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