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12 June 2008 Edition

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Sinn Féin sets out key issues government could deliver in renegotiated Treaty

ALL TO PLAY FOR: Growing support for sending government back with strong mandate for new negotiations

ALL TO PLAY FOR: Growing support for sending government back with strong mandate for new negotiations

In the final week of campaigning, the Lisbon Treaty referendum appeared all to play for. Polling booths open today (Thursday) from 7am  to 10pm and in what has been encouraging development in recent weeks, there is growing support for the idea of sending the Irish Government back to Europe with a strong mandate for new negotiations.
On Monday, with three days to go, Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty set out six key issues which the Irish Government could deliver in a renegotiated Treaty. He said that the reason the government was falling back on scare tactics to get people to vote ‘Yes’ was because it had proved impossible for them to sell a bad deal to the Irish people, just as it had been impossible to sell the same deal to the French and Dutch in 2005.
In the event of the Lisbon Treaty being rejected, Sinn Féin has set out six key issues which the Irish Government could deliver in a renegotiated Treaty. The party says the Irish Government can and should:

•     Secure a permanent Irish EU Commissioner.
•     Copperfasten key strategic vetoes on public services, taxation & international trade.
•     Stop Irish rates of pay and conditions being undercut
•     Secure a specific article protecting Irish neutrality and oppose the imposition of increased military spending.
•     Stop using Irish taxpayers’ money to fund the nuclear industry.
•     Maintain the absolute right of Irish citizens to have the final say in any significant change to EU treaties.
On the issue of securing a better deal Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams pointed out that there is vast political experience in Ireland when it comes to negotiations.
“The Irish people know that it is possible to secure a better deal but it will only happen if the electorate vote ‘No’ and give the government a strong mandate.
“Ireland is the only place in the European Union to have a vote on the Lisbon Treaty but there are tens of millions of people across the EU who have been denied a vote and who oppose this Treaty.
“The fact is that the Lisbon Treaty cannot proceed without the support of the Irish people so if it does not go through it will have to be re-negotiated.  He criticised the government and other parties for their scaremongering and appealed for them to engage in a proper debate for the remaining days of the campaign.
“Sinn Féin is asking voters to come to this debate in a calm and reasoned way, to listen to the arguments being put forward by both sides and to make up their mind in a reasoned way.
“A strong ‘No’ vote on 12 June would create a huge opportunity for the Irish government to address those issues which are clearly of concern to the public”, Adams said.
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