[Sinn Fein]

8th October 2002

Democracy is the key to the second rejection of the Nice Treaty

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP, speaking at the party's `No 2 Nice' press conference in Dublin this morning (Tuesday) said:

``For Sinn Fein the key issue in this referendum is democracy. It is about the decision of the government to deliberately disregard the decision of the electorate and re-run the same referendum, something described by the former Attorney General, John Rogers, as `constitutionally suspect' and `undemocratic'.

``When the people said NO, the government should have gone to the other EU member states and re-negotiated to take account of Irish concerns, but instead we have been forced into a re-run. Would this have been run again if Germany, France or Britain had voted no?

``The second issue is the changing of the rules for running the EU in favour of the big states to the disadvantage of the smaller states and before any enlargement occurs. It will create a two-tier, two-speed EU that favours the bigger states, the loss of permanent representation on the EU Commission in an enlarged EU and the abolition of the veto in 30 policy areas. All of these will seriously undermine the strength of our voice in the EU.

``The third is the ongoing militarisation of the EU through Nice. Nice establishes a new Political and Security Committee which will be responsible for the Rapid Reaction Force. The Seville declarations are too narrowly focused and do not alter the treaty. If the government was serious about defending neutrality then why did it oppose the Sinn Fein motion to the Dáil to have neutrality enshrined in the Constitution? Seville is a fig leaf for the government.

``Not only are democracy, trust, equality and neutrality the key issues for Sinn Fein, they are the issues that are being brought up on the doors right across the state. They are real issues that will have a real impact on people's lives - their children's lives and their grandchildren's lives - for generations to come. That is why I am urging people to get out and use their vote on October 19th and say No to Nice.''

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