I am opposing section 1, the key section in the Bill which brings this infamous Treaty nearer realisation here. I have given my reasons for opposing this Bill and indicated my dissent on Second Stage.
Private Members' Business. - European Communities (Amendment) Bill, 1992: Committee and Final Stages.
I had submission of an amendment by Deputy Garland and I deemed that amendment out of order.
Will the Chair explain why the amendment is ruled out of order?
It is not necessary for the Chair to do so but I shall oblige the Deputy. First, the amendment which the Deputy tabled seeks to make the commencement by ministerial order of the Bill contingent on the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty by Denmark. Further, the proposal is outside the scope of this Bill as read a Second Time as it draws in the extraneous matter of ratification of the Treaty by another state. Consequently, it is out of order.
I accept the Chair's ruling but I would like to speak to the section. I presume that is in order.
I will speak on the subject of when this proposed legislation should come into force. Since the rejection of the Maastricht Treaty by Denmark the Green Party have consistently maintained that the Maastricht Treaty does not exist. I would draw the attention of the Minister for Foreign Affairs to a question which I put down in the Dáil in June last year in reply to which he stated quite clearly that in the event of Denmark or any other state rejecting the Maastricht Treaty, it would not come into effect for any state. Nothing could be clearer. In the next paragraph there were ifs and buts and talk about political reality, but the reality is that that sentence stood on its own. It is something we have tried to hammer home again and again.
The Maastricht Treaty as such has ceased to exist. We have had this charade of a referendum that does not mean anything, which entailed an immense amount of public time and money. It has been a complete waste of time. Furthermore, it is a negation of democracy to try to ride roughshod over the wishes of the people of Denmark who have clearly stated that they do not accept the Maastricht Treaty. It is very undemocratic and wrong of us not to accept at this stage that Denmark has rejected the Treaty and that although we may think they were wrong in doing so, that is their affair. They have decided to reject the Treaty and therefore the Treaty is at an end.
I hesitate to interrupt the Deputy but I must dissuade him against the notion that he may make a Second Reading speech. That would not be in order.
I have made my point.
I would just like to express my appreciation of the manner in which the Deputies co-operated in the passage of this Bill and for their critical analysis of the subject matter of the Bill. Their co-operation is deeply appreciated.
I oppose the passing of the Bill.
As only one teller has been appointed to the níl side a division will not take place. I declare the question carried.
The Bill will now be sent to the Seanad.