September 7, 2020
“EU chemicals committee have ignored requests for consultation by approving lead bullet ban” – Chris MacManus MEP

“EU chemicals committee have ignored requests for consultation by approving lead bullet ban” – Chris MacManus MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus, has slammed the European Commission for ignoring requests to re-open a consultation on its proposed ban on lead bullets in wetland areas. His comments come in response to the approval of the ban last week at the EU REACH committee. MacManus said:

“This was a flawed proposal from the start and the European Chemicals Agency and European Commission has done everything in their power to push it through. The definition used of a wetland and peatland will cover a huge percentage of the island, with an added buffer zone where the ban will also apply. 

“Minister Noonan has acknowledged these areas are not all mapped, which means gun owners have no clarity on what this will mean for them. Current projections tell us the cost of replacing guns, rendered obsolete by the ban, could be close to 150m. I also have concerns about the legality of criminalising people merely carrying leadshot in wetland areas. “

The Midlands Northwest MEP praised the work of his predecessor Matt Carthy and promised to continue his work “For the last 12 months, Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has been fighting for the European Commission to re-open its consultation on the issue. It was clear from the text produced the views of gun owners were completely ignored in the previous consultation. 

“The decision to railroad the ban to a vote demonstrates the European Commission’s intransigence, when confronted with its failure to ensure EU citizens’ views are taken on board. 

This lack of appreciation, by the Commission, for ensuring they are accountable to citizens is at the core of Sinn Féin’s criticism of the EU institutions.  “

MacManus concluded: “The next step is for the proposed ban to be sent to the European Parliament and Council for a 90-day period of scrutiny. The European Parliament Environmental Committee is the only committee with the power to request a full parliamentary vote on the text, of which I am not a member. “

“I am therefore calling on the government parties, all of which are represented on the committee, to make the request immediately. If this happens, I will be voting against this flawed proposal. Sinn Féin believes the people’s voice must be central to decisions, which affect them.” ENDS

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