Stand Up and Say No to Nice's EU Army; Sinn Fein Opposes Handing over More Power to Europe

The People (London, England), October 6, 2002 | Go to article overview

Stand Up and Say No to Nice's EU Army; Sinn Fein Opposes Handing over More Power to Europe


Byline: Aengus O Snodaigh Sinn Fein TD

ON October 19 Irish people in the 26 counties will go to the polls for a second time to vote on the Nice Treaty.

This is a vital vote for us.

It is an opportunity to have a real say in the future development of the European Union.

In calling for a NO vote Sinn Fein is seeking a more inclusive and democratic EU, one where all states - current members and accession states - are treated equally.

That is, we are seeking a Europe of Equals, in much the same vein as our vision of an Ireland of Equals.

Many of the arguments from the YES campaign are based on the lie that a rejection of Nice will end our involvement in the European Union.

But this is not a referendum about our continued membership.

It is about how the EU should be governed.

More and more Irish people now believe that we have ceded too much control to unaccountable EU institutions.

They believe that the gradual erosion of our sovereignty and our neutrality have gone too far. They want this to change.

Despite YES campaign claims, the Nice Treaty further militarises the EU.

Neutrality is still one of the central issues in this referendum.

Nice also further undermines Ireland's ability to develop our own independent stance on issues of great national importance.

It further undermines our sovereignty.

How does Nice do this?

Nice establishes a new Political and Security Committee to deal with EU Common Foreign and Security policy, and oversee the EU's Rapid Reaction Force.

The Rapid Reaction Force is authorised to operate outside the borders of the EU.

This gives the force an offensive capacity. It is something the Irish government should never have agreed to.

Sinn Fein opposes these changes under Nice because they undermine Irish neutrality and sovereignty, and because we are opposed to the development of the EU as a militarised superpower.

The government will tell you that it has now secured our neutrality through the Seville Declarations.

However, these are merely political declarations, not protocols.

They do not alter one word of the Treaty.

The Seville Declarations are not legally binding. …

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