The crucial October 2nd Lisbon treaty referendum is just one month away in Ireland – the only EU member state constitutionally obliged to ask its people such a question.
The “yes” camp has galvanised unlike last year but the latest opinion poll shows a bleeding away of support into the “don’t know” camp. The only cheer for the pro-Europeans is that the “no” camp has not picked up much ground, and opinion is still mostly favourable. Prime Minister Brian Cowen says all the electorate’s fears about the treaty have “legally water-tight” guarantees protecting their interests. “No, I don’t contemplate defeat,” he said. “I honestly believe that the people who will take into account everything will vote for the referendum and we will campaign on that basis.” Last time the “no” camp scored over 53%, and they are now well down at 29%. It seems the Irish see the EU as a way out of the deep economic recession, even if Cowen also said approving Lisbon 2 would not guarantee it.