A second referendum is being planned on Lisbon Treaty
The government spokesman who said on Tuesday (26 August) that "Nothing whatsoever has been decided" on whether there would be a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was telling some of the truth. Dick Roche was telling more of the truth when he said on Morning Ireland on Tuesday that he believed a second referendum would be held.
For the position is there will be a second referendum if there is confidence within the government that the second referendum would not result in a second rejection.
The contours of the case to be put a second time to the Irish people are emerging. The principle feature is an undertaking that if the Lisbon Treaty is passed every Member State will retain a Commissioner. The Lisbon Treaty allows for this, provided this is agreed unanimously at a European Council meeting of all heads of government. The expectation is that at a European Council meeting later this year or early next year a declaration will be made by the Council stating the commitment to guarantee every Member State will retain a Commissioner, along with a clutch of other declarations about abortion, neutrality and possibly a few other areas that seemed to have been concern to the Irish electorate last June.
Tactically, there will also be a change it seems. The big stick will be put aside. No more talk about Ireland being expelled from the EU or left in a slow lane, or European going ahead without Ireland – all legally impossible but still canvassed not just by the Euro fanatics but by RTE and The Irish Times as well.
It will be argued that the same proposition is not being put again to the Irish electorate because of the new commitment on the commissioners. But the reality will be that the very same Treaty will be put again to the Irish people, they having rejected it last June.
The Treaty will remain unintelligible and it will still bring into the EU institutions for the first time, the European armaments industry engaged in the sale of arms to countries around the world including Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States.