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Ireland has vetoed the Lisbon Treaty.

Or has it? What is a veto? More particularly, what is a veto in the European Union?

Ireland has previously cast a veto (in the EU Council of Ministers) and it was denied that it had that effect. That is, it was treated as a dissent, not as a block.
See HERE for details.

The defeat of the Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland is not a rejection of the European Union. However, the response of the European Union may indeed lead to a rejection of the EU. Only a Union based on law can attract and hold the allegiance of the people of Europe. The legal basis of the European Union lies in the treaties. Under the treaties Ireland’s assent to the Lisbon Treaty is a requirement to bring it into force.

To say that implementing the Lisbon Treaty was “going to be difficult” as Christine Lagarde the French Finance Minister did in Korea is to imply that the European Union is not an entity built on law.

To press ahead as President Sarkozy and Gordon Brown propose is to subscribe to the same implication. To propose a “two-speed” Europe (see HERE) is a proposal to abandon the European Union, a legally questionable idea.


  1. I wonder if the note vote isn’t a rejection of the EU, despite public statements to the contrary?

    Of course, it would be idiotic and self-destructive for Ireland to leave the EU, but that doesn’t mean a lot of voters wouldn’t go for the idea in the short term.

    The only thing that the vote proves to me is that treaties like this are not suited to public votes. This is not undemocratic, however.

    How come no one is demanding a referendum on the cluster bomb treaty that the government concluded recently in Dublin?

  2. 1. Spot on, again, Edward

    2. The cluster-bomb treaty does not modify our Constitution. So, no referendum necessary.

  3. 1. Well said (again), Edward
    2. The first link above requires one to be logged-in with WordPress: I can’t – must I ?
    3. Cluster bombs do not affect our Constitution as far as I can see

  4. Fergus,

    I will have my wordpress wizard look at your query

  5. WordPress issue still not resolved