How have our local political parties reacted to the outcome of the EU crisis summit?
The “Conservative and Unionist” MEP, Jim Nicholson, has, unsurprisingly, “welcomed the use of the British veto over a new EU-wide treaty by Prime Minister David Cameron”.
“David Cameron was correct in effectively vetoing a new treaty and keeping the United Kingdom out of this new economic accord agreed at the EU emergency summit, just as the UK was right not to join the Euro in the first place.”
The SDLP’s Margaret Ritchie, MP, says “Cameron’s Europe Walk-Out Disastrous for EU Relations“.
“We in the SDLP are proud supporters of the EU, though we do recognise that the citizens of the North must be protected, financially and otherwise, from the upset in the Eurozone.
“However, this move by the Prime Minister can only serve to harm our relationship with the EU and create a two-speed, two-tier Europe with those on the inside of the stabilisation deal sorting out the mess, and those on the outside, looking on.”
The DUP don’t appear to have commented on the outcome, but prior to the EU crisis summit DUP Deputy Leader, Nigel Dodds, MP, was calling for a referendum “on those changes which are currently being brought forward by Europe”.
[No doubt they welcome Cameron’s veto, too? – Ed] No doubt…
The TUV leader, Jim Allister, MLA, wants the Prime Minister to go further
“As I previously observed every EU crisis is turned to advance the cause of ever closer political and economic union. This is exactly what we see in the latest Brussels deal where the Eurozone countries will be more subservient than ever to the Brussels dictat. Even their domestic budgets will now have to be approved by unelected commissioners. Happily the UK is outside this inner noose but the two tier Europe which is now emerging will damage our national interests even more and confirms me in the view that the United Kingdom would be better off out of the EU.”
And, finally, the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, TD, still wants a referendum – in Ireland. And his concerns echo those of the TUV…
“The Taoiseach’s refusal to bring these proposals before the Dáil for debate is bad enough but to deny the people their say would be a betrayal.
“By agreeing to pursue tighter integration with stricter budget rules for the single currency area Enda Kenny is not representing the best interest of the Irish people.
“This deal means ordinary citizens will continue paying for the banking crisis. There was no agreement to increase the EU’s bailout fund but the burning of bondholders is forbidden.
“The consequences of this deal for Ireland are severe. Power will be transferred from elected politicians in the Dáil to judges and Eurocrats in Luxembourg and Brussels.”
[Presumably the northern wing of Sinn Féin welcomes the UK government’s refusal to sign up to ‘this deal’, then? – Ed] You might very well think that…
Adds As the BBC reports, it’s become a topic for debate in the Asembly.
The SDLP’s Margaret Ritchie accused David Cameron of being disrespectful towards the devolved regions, whilst the Alliance Party’s Chris Lyttle shared her concerns about what he called the “hasty” use of the veto.
However, the DUP’s Gregory Campbell and Ulster Unionist leader Tom Elliott backed the prime minister, while TUV leader Jim Allister said it was refreshing to see Mr Cameron say no to Europe.
Sinn Fein’s Mitchel McLaughlin also feared the loss of national sovereignty, but refused to join what he called the “obsequious endorsement” of Mr Cameron by the unionists.
Even though his party agrees with Cameron’s stance… And the Green Party’s Steven Agnew has issued a statement
“Cameron’s ‘walk out’ was political grandstanding for his party and the electorate but in reality will have little impact.“This is a bad deal for Europe and whilst the UK will not be bound by these new fiscal rules, the Eurozone is a key market for UK exports.“A bad deal for Europe is a bad deal for the UK and by extension Northern Ireland.