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21 / 11 / 2008 - Cóir says declarations on Lisbon are not legally binding
DUBLIN - Assurances or declarations from the European Union on concerns such as abortion or taxation cannot improve the Lisbon Treaty, since such declarations will not be legally binding, Cóir spokesman Richard Greene said today.
Mr Greene was responding to an Irish Times/TNS mrbi opinion poll which found a majority of voters would approve the Lisbon Treaty if concerns on neutrality, abortion and taxation were clarified in special declarations. “The poll reflects the mistaken supposition that such declarations would be legally binging, when in fact they would have no legal standing and would be as much use as a politician’s promise,” said Mr Greene. “If the government decided to run Lisbon again on this basis they would be making a huge mistake since Cóir would undertake to explain to the electorate just how worthless such declarations would be.”
The Cóir spokesman said that, in any case, the Irish people had not asked for declarations or modifications to the treaty – they had simply voted No. “It is an abiding disgrace - and an expression of the contempt in which this government holds the people - that an Taoiseach has refused to state that the Lisbon Treaty is dead and that ratification must end,” said Mr Greene.
And he hit out at Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin who has said that the Government would bring the “elements of a solution” to the December council meeting of all the European states. “A solution to what?” asked Mr Greene. “The problem of the Irish vote? The No vote is not a problem – it is a democratic expression of the right of the people to say No.”
Mr Greene also said that no individual or organization, whether on the ‘No’ or ‘Yes’ side of the campaign, had the right to look for changes or protocols to the treaty. ‘The people - who are sovereign - voted down this treaty. They didn’t vote for renegotiation. They didn’t authorize anyone to look for changes. No mandate exists for either the government or any other party to strike a deal and run another referendum,’ he said.
Source : Cóir