Ireland is to hold its second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty on October 2nd.
The announcement was made by the country’s Prime Minister Brian Cowen. Irish voters rejected the treaty last year. But the government agreed to hold a new vote in return for legal guarantees from the EU that Irish policies on tax, abortion and military neutrality would not be affected. The treaty designed to streamline EU decision making could be ratified if Ireland backs it. Another rejection could see it scuppered. However, polls suggest the Lisbon treaty now has the support of a majority of voters who see the benefits of EU membership to help bring Ireland out of one of the deepest recessions in the industrialised world.