Lisbon clauses justify No - SF


Sinn Féin references clauses in the Lisbon Treaty to underpin its No stance with facts, unlike Yes campaigners, vice president Mary Lou McDonald claimed today at a poster-campaign launch.

The party revealed posters that equated ratification of the treaty with lower wages, higher military spending, less representation in the EU parliament and "crushing" family-run farms.

“In recent years the European Commission has enacted policies, and the European Court of Justice has made judgments that have the effect of driving down the cost of wages in a number of EU countries,” said Ms McDonald.

She cited the Laval judgement by the European Court of Justice in 2007. Swedish unions took action against Laval, a Latvian construction company, over the working conditions of Latvian workers refurbishing a school in Vaxholm, a Swedish town.

The court ruling indicated that strike action was a fundamental right - but not as fundamental as the right to provide cross-border services.

Concerns were raised about the judgement as it was seen to encourage "social dumping" - where companies use workers from one country in another country where the cost of labour is usually more expensive.

Ms McDonald said if the Lisbon treaty is approved in the next referendum it could crush family farms. According to Ms McDonald the EU would gain a mandate to negotiate international trade agreements that Ireland could not oppose given its reduced voting power.

“The European Commission has for many years been pursuing an agenda of aggressively promoting free trade over fair trade,” said Ms McDonald, adding Ireland’s agricultural sector would essentially have to adopt agreements that are not in its best interest.

She also said that articles in the treaty sought to increase military spending among member states and obligated states to make military capabilities available for common security and defence policies.

“The same article also states ‘member states shall undertake progressively to improve their military capabilities’,” according to Ms McDonald.