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Lisbon Treaty – Martin Mansergh Welcomes Brussels Agreement

In a deal secured in Brussels in the past week, by Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin, EU leaders have satisfied Irish government’s concerns with an agreement that would not alter “one dot or one a comma” of the EU’s reform treaty.

Minister Martin Mansergh, a Fianna Fail Oireachtas member for Tipperary South, said:

“Tipperary voter’s concerns over the Lisbon Treaty have been robustly addressed. There is now a decision on legal guarantees and a protocol and  nothing in the treaty will have an impact on Ireland’s control over it’s tax, neutrality or constitutional provisions on the right to life, family and education.”

Irish voters who rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum almost a year ago can now return to the ballot box in October and recent ‘Opinion Polls’ suggest that voters will vote yes for this package, second time around.
Ireland is now expected to hold a referendum in early October on the Lisbon treaty after winning this  “cast-iron legal guarantee” on issues of great concern to the Irish electorate.

Brian Cowen, the Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) stated:

dr-martin-mansergh“The deal was brokered following negotiations with the UK, which accepted that Ireland needed a legally binding protocol on tax, ethical issues and neutrality. As requested by Ireland, all 27 member states will ratify the protocol when they approve the next accession treaty, most likely Croatia’s. I would expect to be ready to have a referendum in early October.  The deal on the protocol was hugely significant for Ireland and the Union. I am confident we now have a solid basis on which to go to the Irish people. I would expect to be ready to have a referendum in early October.”

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was concerned that the ratification of a protocol in the House of Commons might re-open the debate on the Lisbon treaty. Irish diplomats stated that he was objecting to the word “protocol” appearing in the European Council conclusions but in the end relented.

Almost all the 27 EU members have now endorsed this treaty, meant to streamline the way the expanding bloc operates. Only the Czech Republic and Poland must complete the technical ratification.

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