SF to tell Sarkozy there can be no repeat vote


Sinn Féin says it will tell French President Nicolas Sarkozy, at a scheduled meeting in Dublin on Monday, that there can be no question of the Lisbon treaty being put to a vote again in Ireland.

Sinn Féin Lisbon campaign director Padraig MacLochlainn said today he plans to tell Mr Sarkozy that a new treaty negotiation is the only way forward.

Mr MacLochlainn said: “Subtle threats of a two speed Europe or Ireland’s isolation within the union are also nonsense. The Lisbon treaty is finished and cannot proceed with out the ratification of all member states.”

In an interview in The Irish Timestoday, Mr Sarkozy has said he is coming to Ireland to "listen and understand”.

"I need to understand the message that the Irish wanted to convey in voting No to a treaty signed by the representatives of the 27 member states," he said.

But the French premier has made it clear that he believes Ireland will have to vote again on the treaty which No campaigners say disregards the expressed wishes of the Irish people and is contrary to the rules of the European Union.

Arrangements for a meeting between Mr Sarkozy and prominent pro- and anti-Lisbon Treaty campaigners were thrown into confusion yesterday when the Labour Party leader, Eamon Gilmore, said he would not attend and the Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, decided to reserve his position.

Both party leaders were angered by the plan for an hour-long meeting at the French embassy, at which they would be accorded the same status as unelected anti-Lisbon campaigners.