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Lisbon Treaty is not in Ireland's interests - McDonald

12 December, 2007

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s signing of the Lisbon Treaty by EU Heads of State Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald said “whilst the need for Ireland to have its place at the EU table is obvious, we must use that place positively. Our international reputation is not so fragile that we must always act as ‘yes men’ to preserve it even when so obviously the best course of action is to say no.”

The Dublin MEP said:


“Sinn Féin will be the only significant party campaigning against the Lisbon Treaty referendum. However we believe that the majority of the Irish people share our concerns about the direction of the EU and the power of the larger member states.


“As an MEP I believe that Ireland's place is within the European Union. There is no denying the many benefits that have come to Ireland as a result of our membership but moves towards greater integration are simply not in this country's interest.


“This treaty has failed absolutely to address the democratic deficit within Europe; despite promises made by European leaders over the last two years. The Lisbon Treaty will involve the most substantial transfer of powers from member states to the European Council and Commission to date.  The influence of smaller states will be reduced as the dominance of the larger states is consolidated.


“The militarization of the EU will be accelerated and an economic agenda based on a race to the bottom for wages and workers rights will be greatly advanced. At EU level we see the incremental development of an EU Army, in all but name, at home the use of Shannonairport by US troops on their way to wage war in Iraq.


“Much has been made by proponents of the Lisbon Treaty that its core rationale is the need to end the deadlock of administering an enlarged EU and its supporting institutions. This is simply not true. Many who work within the European Union apparatus argue that it has never worked more efficiently. But whatever your view on the institutions efficiency it simply does not make sense that increased militarism, liberalisation and centralisation will somehow make the EU work better in the interests of ordinary people.


“If proponents of the Lisbon Treaty believe that hoodwinking people will achieve their desired result they have seriously under estimated the depth of concern on the direction of the EU within Irish society.” ENDS


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