IFA Lisbon decision criticised

The IFA's last minute U-turn on the Lisbon treaty was "disappointing, but totally to be expected" Libertas executive director Naoise Nunn said this evening.

Nunn said that IFA President Padraig Walshe had been eager to "avoid the blame" for a No vote.

"The fact of the matter is that the position of ordinary Irish farmers is exactly the same now as it was this morning," said Nunn. "Nothing happened today to reassure farmers that their future is secure.

"If there is a Yes vote, and in 10 years time, Irish farming is in its death throes, people will look back at June 3, 2008 as the day the IFA signed the warrant for its own execution."

"There is no veto right on WTO talks. The IFA may have chosen not to believe this now, but in the next few months, if the treaty is passed, they will come to see exactly what we mean."

Sinn Féin spokesperson on agriculture Martin Ferris echoed these sentiments.

"Assurances from Brian Cowan on the use of Ireland’s veto on international trade agreements not in Ireland’s interests are simply not worth the paper they are written on," he said.

"[How can] the Irish Government commit to using a veto if in fact that veto does not exist.

"I put it to Brian Cowan that the reason the Government has spent months hand wringing on this issue and has made today’s commitment to the IFA at the 11th hour is because he knows that the treaty text does not support his claim on the veto."

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