Irish people to be made an offer they can’t refuse

It’s not surprising, but no less brazen for that: the Irish government will apparently propose later today at the EU Summit in Brussels that the rejected Lisbon Treaty be put again to referendum no later than October of next year.  So says the Irish Times which has seen the draft summit agreement.  The package will essentially be unchanged from what was voted on before, but the 26 others will have to agree to keep the Commission at a size allowing at least one commissioner from each country.  Declarations regarding Ireland’s neutrality and tax autonomy will apparently also be added, but the Irish government will be in the slightly strange position of arguing that these declarations are significant when it previously argued that the associated concerns were meaningless.  It’s a packed agenda at Brussels, also including the need to patch up obvious disagreement between France and the UK on the one hand and Germany on the other on the size of fiscal stimulus.  One suspects that some of the countries are annoyed that the Irish question is still hanging around.

UPDATE [1925 GMT]: Gordon Brown apparently believes that if the new guarantees given to Ireland have any legal content, the UK would have to reratify the treaty.

5 thoughts on “Irish people to be made an offer they can’t refuse

  1. This is really the only alternative possible. The Irish people may still reject the second referendum as the current government is deeply unpopular and the country is in a deep recession.

    The issue of neutrality and abortion guarantees is interesting as these were red herrings introduced by the No campaign to confuse voters.

  2. Art — precisely for the reasons you describe, the government is going to risk sounding incoherent as it makes the case for a yes vote the 2nd time around. I suspect that they will want to avoid arguments about the legitimacy of a 2nd vote or the specifics of neutrality/tax and pitch as a general issue: is Ireland in or out as the EU moves forward?

  3. Worst case of bullying that I’ve seen or heard of in Europe since 1939. What is the point of asking the people to decide in a referendum if you reject the result.

    Keep voting time after time after time until you give us the result we want?

  4. I have to say, *I* feel this EU process has absolutely nothing to do with *me* – and I’m a Brit living in Amsterdam, prime EU material.

    This is simply the center – which has nothing to do with me – enforcing its decisions on union members.

    This is pure “Road to Serfdom” material. I have no choice or say in this matter; it is simply forced upon me.

    Because of that of course I feel absolutely no interest or care for it. By imposing itself in this way, it makes itself weak.

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