Rejection of treaty will cut off bailout funds, says watchdog
THE Yes side got a big boost yesterday when the independent referendum watchdog said access to the new EU bailout fund would be cut off by a No vote.
The Referendum Commission also said the opportunity to veto the setting up of the fund was gone as Ireland had already agreed to the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
The fiscal treaty says access to the bailout fund is based upon ratification of the treaty.
But Sinn Fein continued to claim the Government could go back and negotiate a better deal by threatening to veto the setting up of the new fund.
High Court judge Kevin Feeney, the chairman of the Referendum Commission, said the chance to veto the separate ESM treaty, which has to be passed by a vote in the Oireachtas, rather than through a referendum, has now passed.
"Ireland could have done that but Ireland has already agreed to the establishment of the ESM," he said.
Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said the government could still threaten a veto.
"The Government has the trump card that they can block the establishment of the ESM," he said.
He said his party was in favour of the setting up of a fund for EU countries to access. But he refused to say if Sinn Fein would vote for the establishment of the fund when it comes before the Dail and the Seanad.