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24 January 2008 Edition

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Sinn Féin invites Greens to oppose Lisbon Treaty

Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald and Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams

Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald and Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams

AFTER the Green Party’s Lisbon Treaty conference last weekend, where the party leadership failed to secure a two-thirds majority in favour of the treaty, Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has invited those seeking a ‘No’ vote in the referendum to join with Sinn Féin in securing a better deal for Ireland.
The Dublin MEP said:
“Over a third of the party membership did not give the Lisbon Treaty the green light. Naturally it is a matter for that party what decision they took. But I would call on those members who clearly believe that Ireland deserves better than the Lisbon Treaty to join the campaign to see it defeated.”
Sinn Féin has consistently advocated a robust and informed referendum campaign, she said. It is critical that the content of the Lisbon Treaty be outlined to voters to ensure that opponents fully engage with communities the length and breadth of the country in this debate.
“There is no doubt that this will be a tough and difficult campaign for both sides. But I believe that we will be standing with the majority of people on this island who share our concerns about the direction of the EU and the power of the larger states.
“It is the responsibility of all political parties and their representatives to conduct themselves during this debate in an accountable and mature fashion. To date, all we have seen from the ‘Yes’ campaign is scaremongering, mud-slinging and little, if any, substantive argument based on the content of the Treaty.
“That we in the ‘No’ campaign are engaging in this debate and putting forward an alternative vision for Europe is evidence alone that we are not anti-European. We simply believe that the Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal for member states and that the people of Europe deserve better.”
Meanwhile, speaking at the Ógra Shinn Féin National Congress, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said the Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal for Ireland and should be rejected.
“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 larger states is consolidated.
“It significantly accelerates the militarisation of the EU and advances an economic agenda based on a race to the bottom for wages and workers’ rights.
“It will be a tough and difficult campaign. However, I believe that we will be standing with the majority of people on this island who share our concerns  about the direction of the EU and the power of the larger states.
“I want to call on young republicans across the island to come out once again, as they did in the Nice referendum, and lead a robust, energetic and vigorous campaign that will energise young people across the island.”
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