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19 June 2008 Edition

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Lisbon Treaty - Cowen must insist on an end to ratification process

During a debate on the Lisbon Treaty in Leinster House on Wednesday, Sinn Féin Dáil group leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD rightly described Thursday, 12 June 2008 as a day that “deserves to be remembered as a great day for democracy in Ireland and in Europe”.
“It was a positive assertion by the Irish electorate of their power to decide vital national issues. This was a vote about what type of EU we want to be part of developing. Will it be an EU of political elites and bureaucrats? Or will it be a democratic Europe of the people?”, he said.
Despite what is being propagated by the more hysterical advocates of the Lisbon Treaty, the state is not facing expulsion from the European Union because of the referendum result.
When the French and Dutch rejected the EU Constitution in 2005, the ratification process was brought to an end. This has now got be the case also with the Lisbon Treaty.
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin called on Taoiseach Brian Cowen to “not just declare his respect and acceptance” of last week’s referendum result but to act accordingly and to “insist in the course of the Council of Ministers meeting on an end now to the ratification process across all of the European Union”.
The ball is now firmly at Brian Cowen’s feet. The Lisbon Treaty is over and done with. The Taoiseach must insist on this point when he faces his EU counterparts over the coming days.
Again, speaking in the Dáil, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin rejected what he said was Brian Cowen’s “attempt to sully” the Irish people’s rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by “pretending that it has been welcomed only by the likes of the contemptuous Mr. Le Pen and his cohorts”.
“Progressive people across Europe have welcomed the rejection of this much contested text. We are not alone in our opinion of the Lisbon Treaty. This document has been put before the peoples of five countries and in three instances it has been overwhelmingly rejected”, he said.
That Fine Gael and Labour have both said that they will not to seek a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is to be welcomed. It is now time for the Irish Government to do likewise and to focus its energies on securing a better deal for Ireland and for Europe.

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