The Consequences of 'No': An Examination of Possible Responses to the Irish Referendum on 12 June, 2008 Concerning the Treaty of Lisbon
3 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2008
Date Written: June 15, 2008
This paper examines the legal consequences of the Irish 'no' vote in the 12 June, 2008 referendum on a Constitutional amendment permitting ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon. It points out that a reduction in the size of the Commission, albeit of unspecified dimensions, is now inevitable under Article 213 of the EC Treaty (as amended at Nice) since this provision will remain in force. Theoretically possible resolutions of the crisis which now exists in the EU reform process are summarised as being four in number: (i) renegotiation of the substance of the Lisbon settlement; (ii) a change of mind by Ireland and ratification of the Lisbon accord (provided adequate clarifications and/or protocols are agreed by the member states); (iii) permanent abandonment in whole or in part of the Lisbon settlement without replacement; and (iv) the remaining 26 member states (or as many of them as are willing to do so) finding some mechanism to proceed with further integration leaving Ireland behind.
Keywords: Treaty of Lisbon, referendum, Ireland
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