Irish Republican News · February 21, 2008
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
EU to ignore Irish referendum result

There has been anger and incredulity in Ireland over a vote by the European Parliaments today [Thursday] NOT to respect the result of the Lisbon Treaty referendum.

The Treaty seeks to alter the balance of power in favour of the larger nations and facilitate its continued enlargement into Eastern Europe. The Treaty reduces Ireland’s voting strength and its automatic right to a European Commissioner.

By a huge majority (499 to 129) European MEPs -- bizarrely including Labour’s Proinsias De Rossa -- voted against the motion ‘The European Parliament undertakes to respect the outcome of the referendum in Ireland’.

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said her party had consistently warned of the a real danger of Ireland becoming marginalised and irrelevant if the Lisbon Treaty is passed.

“This vote today provides an instant snapshot of the attitude of dominance that infects all the European Intuitions, an attitude that the wishes of the citizens of the EU are irrelevant.”

Mr De Rossa has some explaining to do. When in Ireland he is busy campaigning for a Yes vote primarily on the basis that it will ‘strengthen European democracy’, yet today he has voted to dismiss the future democratic wishes for the very people he is elected to represent.

“Today’s vote goes to the very heart of all that is wrong with the Lisbon Treaty. When the EU Constitution failed to win popular EU leaders returned in June 2007 with the Lisbon Treaty. All but 10 of the 250 or so Articles of the new treaty are the same as its predecessor, a 96% match.

“Those political leaders across the EU, including Ireland, believe that it is acceptable to ignore the outcome of the French and Dutch referenda and return with the same proposals is an indication of their disregard for basic democratic principles. No doubt these very same EU parliamentarians make up the 499 MEPs who voted against respecting the Irish people’s position on the Treaty.”

Meanwhile, the 26 County Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been criticised for describing Sinn Féin and other opponents of the Treaty as “loo-lahs” and “the Loony Left”.

McDonald described the Taoiseach’s remarks as “those of a political leader who’s back is against the wall”.

Sinn Féin called on the Taoiseach to name a date for the referendum and take part in a real debate on the Treaty.

“I ask the Taoiseach to grow up and let’s have a mature robust and intelligent debate on what is the biggest decision the electorate have been asked to make on the European Union since its foundation,” said McDonald.

“The Irish people and indeed the people they elect to represent them should expect more from each other.”

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© 2008 Irish Republican News