Ireland's interests best served by No vote - Adams


SINN FÉIN CAMPAIGN:IRELAND’S BEST interests are served by voting No to the Lisbon Treaty, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has claimed.

Speaking in Dublin yesterday, Mr Adams said there were five reasons not to vote for the Lisbon Treaty. He said Ireland would still keep its permanent commissioner under the Nice Treaty; we would maintain our current voting strength; the State would keep its automatic right to a referendum on future changes to EU treaties; a protocol could be secured to protect workers’ rights and Ireland would also have the opportunity to secure a protocol on neutrality, he claimed.

Handing Ireland’s future to an EU elite would be disastrous, said Mr Adams. A No vote would ensure the State kept its permanent commissioner through negotiation.

He dismissed the guarantees secured by the Government earlier this year, arguing there was not “one comma” of difference between the document before the electorate and what people voted on last year.

“We need to get a new treaty for new times, and that means voting No and going back to our partners in the EU,” he said. “Our place in the EU is secure.”

He said that Ireland did not need “side of the mouth commitments” but real changes to the treaty.

After the last referendum, Sinn Féin had made a submission to the Government setting out a position on the various issues.

Mr Adams accused the Labour Party of trying to be all things to all men.

“One minute, Labour is attacking the Government and the next it is lining up behind Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan in their rush to be Europe’s Yes men in Ireland,” he said yesterday.

“It cannot have it both ways.”

Speaking in Dublin, Mr Adams said that the Government knew it could not sell the contents of the treaty, and it was trying to frighten the electorate into submission at a time when people were worried about the future.

“It has been joined in this effort by the Labour leadership, Fine Gael and a strange mix of right-wing elements,” he added.

“Labour is trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, it is attacking the Government on its awful economic and social policies while at the same time it is supporting it on Lisbon.”

The referendum, he said, came down to an issue of trust.

“Unlike Labour, Sinn Féin does not trust a Government which bails out bankers and developers and their other friends in high places, a Government of dig-outs, backhanders and sweetheart deals, Nama and An Bord Snip,” he added.

He claimed that: “Throughout the campaign Sinn Féin has set out the facts. We have analysed the treaty, analysed the commentary from the Government and set out our alternative.”

“It is Sinn Féin’s view that handing Ireland’s future to an EU elite would be disastrous. Once we hand that power away we will never get it back,” Mr Adams said.