[Sinn Fein]

19th September 2002

Sinn Fein joins launch of new Alliance Against Nice

Sinn Fein has joined the new Alliance Against Nice, publicly launched today. Speaking on behalf of Sinn Fein, Spokesperson on Europe Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said:

``Given the virtual exclusion of the NO side from parliamentary debate last week, I welcome this opportunity to cooperate with the other political parties opposed to the Nice Treaty.

``We have no illusions. This will be a tough referendum. The establishment parties and their elite allies in big business have drawn their line in the sand. They are now deploying PR consultants and ad agencies, and - at a time of cutbacks - spending millions of euro in a YES campaign of deliberate deception, economic and emotional blackmail, and bribery.

``They want to convince us that a NO vote will be a disaster, and they are willing to lie to get us to believe this. For the record, Nice is not about whether we continue our EU membership. Likewise, neither enlargement nor the Irish economy depend on ratification of Nice. Nice is about structural changes in EU governance and the elimination of equality between states. It is about creating and consolidating elites within the Union and furthering their agenda for the future of Europe - whether that be privatisation, militarisation, or centralisation.

``Also for the record, Sinn Fein's opposition to Nice is most emphatically not about anti-immigration, anti-Europe, or ``narrow nationalism'`. Our opposition to Nice is about democracy, neutrality, sovereignty and policy independence, and our positive vision of a progressive, inclusive EU of equals. This is Sinn Fein's real position on Nice, and accords completely with our republicanism, our internationalist perspective, and our socialism.

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