Government cannot ignore public’s demand for referendum
Political and legal obligation to hold referendum
Commenting on the Red C poll which showed that 73% of people want a referendum to be held on the proposed new treaty, Socialist Party/ ULA MEP Paul Murphy said:
This poll shows that the majority of the Irish public agree with the demand raised by myself and others on the left for a referendum to be held on this Treaty.
The government should stop scrambling desperately for a way to avoid putting this to the people. I believe that there is a legal obligation that this treaty be put to a referendum, but this poll proves that there is now a political obligation for a referendum.
The Socialist Party will be launching our campaign for a referendum in the next week. The content of the Austerity Treaty is so significant that the people must have a right to decide on it. It represents an institutionalisation of austerity through the ‘balanced budget’ rule and a transfer of power from national governments on budgetary questions to the European Commission and Council.
The small margin of support of this Treaty in advance of a vigorous debate about it shows shows that the passing of this treaty cannot be taken for granted by the government. People may and should take their opportunity to reject the austerity that has already been imposed by the EU/IMF and choose not to join the ‘Austerity Club’ that we are being asked to join.