8 June 2001
No to Nice vote allows opportunity for much needed debate
Speaking this afternoon Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP said: ``The government tried to rush the referendum through without a debate. They failed. The Nice Treaty must now be re-negotiated. It is also essential that the government fulfil its campaign promise and facilitate a comprehensive and realistic debate on Europe.''
Mr. Adams said:
``This is an excellent result for Ireland and Europe. Although the turnout was low it is clear that the Irish people will not allow themselves to be railroaded into supporting a treaty, which has far-reaching consequences for Ireland, and which hasn't been properly debated.
``The referendum result has shown that the government cannot take the electorate for granted. They must now take on board the very real concerns that people have. They must accept that there is concern about Irish neutrality; concern about our sovereignty within Europe; and a very real concern about the development of a two-tier Europe.
``The government tried to rush the referendum through without a debate. They failed. The Nice Treaty must be renegotiated. It is also essential that the government fulfil its campaign promise and facilitate a comprehensive and realistic debate on Europe.
``I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sinn Fein activists throughout Ireland who campaigned tirelessly in this referendum. They have been to the forefront of this campaign, and the only political party which actually took the debate to doorsteps the length and breadth of the state. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Green Party, National Platform and others who joined with us in the Peace and Neutrality Alliance to defeat this referendum.''
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