Lisbon treaty vote in Ireland: what happens next?

GUARDIAN, 3Oct09: A look at the impact of a yes or a no majority in the Irish referendum on the EU reform treaty.

If Ireland Votes ‘Yes’:

A yes vote, predicted by all the mainstream opinion polls, will see Angela Merkel of Germany, Nicolas Sarkozy of France and others move quickly to introduce the changes under the Lisbon treaty.

Intense politicking will immediately ensue over the two plum posts created by Lisbon: a president of Europe who will chair EU summits and serve for up to five years, and an EU foreign policy chief. …

If Ireland Votes ‘No’:

If, for the second time in 16 months, the Irish vote no, the Lisbon treaty is dead.

The mood of decline, drift and gloom pervading the EU will deepen. Disputes will rage over what next.

Britain and others will argue that the EU is functioning fine as it is and should continue to do so. There will be talk of a “two-speed” or “multispeed” Europe, with integrationists demanding that those who want to cherry pick some of the changes in the treaty should be able to do so on a less formal basis. This will be divisive.

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