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Scenarios in case Irish reject Lisbon Treaty

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Scenarios in case Irish reject Lisbon Treaty


If the Irish vote ‘No’ to the Treaty of Lisbon, what happens? A rejection could leave Ireland in a diplomatic stew. There is speculation that the Celtic Tiger would lose influence in the EU.

The scenarios include the following: An Irish ‘No’ could mean a renegotation of the treaty. The incoming French EU presidency would have more on its plate come July 1 than it may have planned for.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy worked hard to re-centre his country among partner states after French voters in 2005 rejected the draft EU constitution. A new challenge might consist of keeping the Nice Treaty currently in effect.

Nice was passed when the Union still had 15 members, in 2000. Lisbon was introduced to permit the bloc to function properly with vastly more members, like with 27 today.

But the constitution made an attempt in that direction too, though it failed to convince core founder members France and the Netherlands. A new referendum in Ireland might not be out of the question, even if it’s not Dublin’s cup of tea, since the Irish held two votes on Nice.

Yet analyst Sebastian Kurpas at the Centre for European Policy Studies said there is more involved than a re-vote attempt in Ireland: “If there is an Irish “No” vote, it is very unpredictable what would be the catch-on effect in other countries, Britain being a very important one, also in Denmark, the Czech Republic, which is currently going through a procedure of judicial check on the Treaty.”

Signals from London that Britain will not hold a referendum no matter what happens in Ireland seem certain to stoke continued pressure from British eurosceptics.

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