Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 13 June 2008

It's confirmed - Ireland rejects EU Reform Treaty!

The official results have just been announced: 53.4 per cent voted against, 46.6 voted yes.

Whilst I am very pro-EU, I was opposed to the rejected EU Constitutional Treaty (rejected by France and the Netherlands), and the present EU Reform Treaty is considered by most to be almost indistinguishable and has just been rejected by Ireland. I think we should have a referendum too, as promised by the Labour government before the 2005 General Election.

Despite the fact that unanimity is required for the Treaty to come into effect, already European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has stated that the Treaty is "alive and we should now try to find a solution". There IS no solution; the Treaty is DEAD! The same nonsense was trotted out for several weeks after the Constitutional Treaty was rejected by France and the Netherlands a few years ago, but eventually they were forced to face up to the fact the required ratification within two years of its signing could not happen, because both countries declined to ask their citizens to vote a second time.

In the world of realpolitik, however, because Ireland is one of the 'small' countries, there will undoubtedly be attempts to circumvent the Irish rejection and continue with the Treaty's effects, something that obviously could not work with one of the larger countries such as France, one of the countries rejecting the earlier Treaty. However, the harsh legal fact is that all 27 countries must ratify EU Treaties for them to come into force, so however much Barroso or the British Labour government or anyone else may huff and puff, the Reform Treaty is now dead.

If the British government wishes to press on with ratification, then:

to see if the British people will sanction this action.

I suspect that what will happen in practice is that yet another treaty will be concocted, unless the European Commission can be made to realise the game is up!

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