With early voting underway in Ireland’s referendum on the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, Prime Minister Brian Cowen has made a last appeal for a ‘yes’ vote. Polls suggest the result will be very close. The treaty aims to streamline the EU’s decision-making process. Cowen said the outcome will say a lot about Ireland.
“Whatever the results, it will mark a major statement about who we are as a people and the future we want to build. Will we move forward as positive members of the European Union, helping to make reforms and working with other states to meet modern challenges, or will we take a new and more uncertain course,” he said.
With so much to play for both sides are campaigning until the last moment ahead of Thursday’s vote.
The ‘yes’ campaign is supported by the government and almost all political parties. Sinn Fein is in the ‘no’ camp, which brings together disparate groups concerned about Ireland’s neutrality, workers rights and the country’s influence in the EU.