[Sinn Fein]

27th June 2002

Referendum wording does not change Nice

SF will call for NO vote

Commenting on the Bill published today containing the wording for the second Nice Referendum Sinn Fein European Affairs spokesperson Aengus 6 Snodaigh TD said:

``The people will be voting on the same Treaty of Nice they rejected last year. Neither the wording proposed to be inserted in the Constitution nor the Declarations adopted at Seville can alter one syllable in the Treaty of Nice.

``The Government is now proposing a new paragraph to be inserted in the Constitution in addition to the two that were rejected by referendum last year. The new wording states that the State shall not adopt a `common defence' under Nice where that `common defence' would include the State. But there is officially no `common defence' at present yet the Government signed up to the EU Rapid Reaction Force, the core of an EU Army. This amendment will not alter that position.

``The proposed wording does not adequately address the militarization of the EU which will proceed if Nice is ratified here. The government has failed to safeguard Irish neutrality in the Constitution, a key demand of Sinn Fein, and one widely supported across the political spectrum.

``Our opposition to Nice is not solely based on the neutrality issue. Under Nice a two-tier EU is created, dominated by the larger states.

``Sinn Fein will call for a NO vote. The fundamental issue is democracy because the Government defied the decision of the people in referendum last year and encouraged the other States to ratify, ensuring that the Irish would `get it right' the second time around. If Germany or France or Britain had rejected Nice it would have been dead in the water. This proves the point that the Nice Treaty establishes a two-tier EU dominated by the larger states.''

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