Last chance for Lisbon: Ireland’s EU referendum

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Series Details September 2009
Publication Date September 2009
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Ireland will hold a second referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon on October 2nd. Most opinion polls in the run-up to the vote show that a majority of Irish voters now back the EU treaty they rejected in June 2008. But the result of the referendum is far from certain: the public mood is volatile amidst a deep recession and many voters remain unconvinced and confused about the treaty's merits. The poll re-run will have implications far beyond Ireland's shores. A Yes vote would allow the EU to improve the way it makes decisions, particularly in the implementation of foreign policy, and put a decade of internal navel-gazing behind it. A No vote would lead to recrimination, distract from urgent policy priorities and mean that the Europeans will have to put up with the current Nice treaty for a generation.

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