The 26-County government is determined to hold a referendum on on the European Union’s Constitution despite Britain’s decision to postpone indefinitely its own referendum.
British home secretary Jack Straw suspended legislation to enable a referendum on the constitution saying: “We see no point in proceeding at this moment.” While he said Britain could resume preparations for a referendum “should circumstances change”, the announcement is a further blow to Europhiles still hoping that ratification can continue despite the rejection of the treaty in French and Dutch referendums.
Although the British decision appears to have killed off the EU constitution, Poland and Denmark also said that their referendums, planned for the autumn, would go ahead.
Sinn Féin has urged that the Dutch and French ‘no’ votes on the European Constitution must be accepted as the democratic will of the people.
Bairbre de Brun, Sinn Féin Member of the European Parliament, said people were still in denial regarding the referendum.
“The Dutch and French votes must be accepted as the democratic will of the people. Large sections of people within the EU, including the commission are still in denial about the referendum results.
“Reaction has ranged from blaming the people to blaming national governments for their verdicts, without stopping to think that the institutions have become increasingly isolated from the citizens and vice versa for a number of years.”