Roche: Lisbon guarantees no less binding than the Belfast Agreement…

Clever line of argument from Europe Minister Dick Roche at pro Lisbon rally tonight… Technically correct, although I am sure Sinn Fein would argue that the context of the two agreements (one billateral, the other profoundly multilateral) are quite different:

“Sinn Fein is fully aware from its experience with the Good Friday Agreement that the process being adopted on the Lisbon Treaty and the legally binding guarantees on taxation, the right to life, family and education provisions in our Constitution and on our tradition of military neutrality is legally sound and yet it is misleading its own supporters on this vital issue”.

“The European Council in June last took a legally binding Decision addressing the Concerns of the Irish People on the Treaty of Lisbon. That Decision and the guarantees will be lodged with the United Nations under Article 102 of the UN Charter.”

“In 1998, the Good Friday Agreement was also lodged with the UN under Article 102 of the UN Charter. Sinn Fein fully supported the process and explained to its supporters, including those in prison that this was their basis for accepting the agreement. The current Sinn Fein line on the legally binding guarantees agreed in the June 2009 European Council seeks to contradict the agreements it put forward with its own supporters when seeking approval for the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Fein’s line is predicated by the idea that the 26 other Member States will tear up an international agreement.”

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty