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Labour sticks to Government line on EU treaty referendum

A spokesperson for the party said the Government was taking on board the advice of the Attorney General.

Probably won't be needing these ballot boxes just yet.
Probably won't be needing these ballot boxes just yet.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

DESPITE CALLS FROM one of its backbenchers to allow the public to vote on the formal approval of the new European intergovernmental treaty, Labour is sticking to the Government line that a referendum will only be held if required by law.

A spokesperson for the party told TheJournal.ie that the Government will take on board the advice of the Attorney General.

There is no separate line from Labour on the matter.

Last week, backbencher Aodhán Ó Riordáin endorsed the demands for a referendum on the fiscal treaty, which was agreed by eurozone leaders on Monday.

“Whatever comes out of these discussions, and whatever text we get…I think it needs to go to the people,” he said.

The final text of the treaty has a clause which says the ‘debt brake’ does not need to be written into the constitution, making a referendum less likely.

Both Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin have called for a public vote on the matter, regardless of the advice that the Attorney General gives after deliberating the matter.

Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley welcomed the comments from O’Riordáin and called on the Government not to deny the Irish people a say on the issue.

Dismissing Minister Leo Varadkar’s statement that referendums are not “very democratic”, Dooley said that when people are engaged with on “important issues” then they will listen.

The Taoiseach has said he does not fear a referendum on this Treaty, if that is the case then he should announce the Government’s intention to hold one.”

More: Final text of Fiscal Compact deal may allow Ireland to avoid referendum>

More on the EU Treaty>

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