Treaty vote central to recovery and growth, says McAleese


SEANAD:THE GOVERNMENT must convince voters that the fiscal compact treaty was not alone about saving the euro but was just as much about Irish economic recovery and thereby securing jobs, Martin McAleese (Ind) said.

People needed evidence that there was a real prospect of the creation of sustainable employment opportunities following ratification of the treaty.

Dr McAleese, a nominee of the Taoiseach, said the Government must also clarify the manner in which the treaty interacted with existing European law, including the addressing of concerns around applicable voting rules.

“What are the implications for the reverse qualified majority rules in this treaty, after the changes to the voting threshold requirements in the Lisbon Treaty come into force in 2014? Can the Government demonstrate that larger member states cannot dominate to their advantage and at the expense of smaller states like Ireland – the so-called big state directoire?

“Given the leap of faith demanded by the treaty and the many disappointments in leadership of recent years, the Government must set out clearly how it was projected that this treaty would vindicate our people’s sacrifices, while restoring fiscal stability and ensuring economic growth in Ireland.”

The second stage of the Bill to facilitate voting on the treaty was passed without a vote.

Trevor Ó Clochartaigh (SF) had opposed its passage but was unable to muster enough votes to force a challenge.

John Gilroy (Lab) said he found it extraordinary that a trade union leadership was advising its members to vote against the terms of the treaty, which meant, in effect, advocating against union members’ interests.

David Norris (Ind) unsuccessfully attempted to have the debate postponed because of the uncertainty arising about the treaty on account of the French presidential election and the fall of the Dutch government.

For the first time, the Seanad Chamber is to host a meeting of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, which takes place on May 14th and 15th.

Membership now includes the Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly, Welsh Assembly, the Isle of Man’s High Court of Tynwald and the legislative bodies of Guernsey and Jersey.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will address the assembly on “Making Business Easier between Britain and Ireland”, which is the main theme of the proceedings.