[Sinn Fein]

28th August 2002

Ó Snodaigh challenges Dublin Chamber of Commerce to produce evidence to back up scaremongering comments

Sinn Fein TD for Dublin South Central Aengus Ó Snodaigh today accused the Dublin Chamber of Commerce of scaremongering on the Nice Treaty and challenged them to produce evidence to back up their dire warnings of economic disaster for the city if the people vote no a second time. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

``Over the last few months we have seen many attempts to scare the people of Ireland into supporting the Nice Treaty claiming that a No vote would have catastrophic consequences for the Irish people and the economy, involving a flight of capital, job losses and isolation form the decision making process in the EU. And today the Dublin Chamber of Commerce added their voice to the list of scaremongers.

``I would like to ask the Dublin Chamber of Commerce what is the basis of these remarks. Have they done any research? Have they even surveyed their own members? It is worth noting that ISME (Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association) in a survey of 400 members during August highlighted that small businesses are concerned that the full implications of the Nice Treaty are not being fully addressed by the government. Of those surveyed only 8% were satisfied that they had received adequate information. When asked what impact a Yes vote for Nice would have on their business only one in five outlined a positive impact.

``Dublin Chamber of Commerce also seems to ignore the fact that we are currently full participants in all of the economic policies of the EU and this will continue if the people vote No to the Nice Treaty a second time.

``It is worth noting that much the same threats were made against Denmark when they voted No to the Maastricht Treaty but not only are they not financially ruined Denmark took over Presidency of the European Union this summer.

``We do know that the Nice Treaty will have very real consequences on our sovereignty. We are already losing control of basic things like how much money should be invested in health, education, telecommunications etc. We are losing control of the right to set tax rates, borrow money and pay wage increases. These are all crucial aspects of managing our economy.

``Instead of engaging in scare mongering the Dublin Chamber of Commerce should be engaging in a real debate on the Nice Treaty.''ENDS

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