SP congratulates Irish ambassador on referendum

29 May 2008

SP congratulates Irish ambassador on referendum

Now that the proposal for a referendum in the Netherlands on the Treaty of Lisbon will probably not succeed, the Irish are the only people in Europe who will have the opportunity to express their view through a popular vote. SP Members of Parliament Harry van Bommel and Sharon Gesthuizen are therefore planning to drop in on the Irish ambassador at 10.30 on Monday morning, 2nd June, to hand over written congratulations.

At the same time as they pass on the messages of congratulation, activists will unfurl a banner in front of the embassy with the message "Congratulations Ireland. You're having the referendum 486 million people have been denied".

Harry van Bommel, the SP's spokesman on European affairs, said “The Irish are the only Europeans who will have the chance to express their views on this important treaty. A historic task rests on their shoulders.”

Van Bommel was in Ireland last month at the invitation of the 'no' campaign. “I saw once more with my own eyes how a referendum is a splendid way to put European politics on the public agenda,” he said. “The Irish aren't frightened of difficult questions, and there is a thorough and broad discussion. They have a democratic tradition there from which the Netherlands could learn.”

The demonstration at the Irish embassy is no isolated event. In other European countries Ireland will be congratulated in just the same way, an initiative of the European Referendum Campaign, an independent network of European NGOs and activist groups.

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