Friday, June 17, 2005

Referenda Postponed - Reactions

The decision to allow a period of "reflection" has been welcomed in different ways. Gerry Adams said: "it has become increasingly clear that European leaders, including the Irish Government are running scared of the electorate on this issue. Now is the time for real debate on the EU Constitution, not 'cold storage." Commenting on this period of extra time, Bernard Allen FG TD said "The extra time now available for ratification must be a period of active engagement with the public regarding the merits of the EU Constitution. Ireland has benefited hugely from membership of the EU, and the new EU Constitution will help to continue these positive benefits for our country." Bertie Ahern also said that "it is really up to individual governments to convince their people about the merits of the constitution." MEP UUP Jim Nicholson said: "There must be no cherry picking of the constitution and no ratification by stealth either. Introducing the constitution by the back door would be a grave betrayal of the British people. The Prime Minister must declare the constitution is dead or hold a referendum to give the British People the opportunity to consign it, once and for all, to the political dustbin." More reactions expected