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'Serious consequences' if Republic votes no again

A second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is set to take place in the Republic next October.

And if the country votes 'no' again, there will be a massive push by other countries to leave them out of the loop.

The first referendum was rejected in June this year.

Already, one German MEP has launched a scathing attack on the Irish demand for new incentives, and said Prime Minister Brian Cowen has acted as if he were at a flea market.

And the President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pottering, told the Herald that there will be "very serious consequences" if the treaty is rejected again.

As part of a deal negotiated between Brian Cowen and other European leaders, all 27 member states of the EU will retain a permanent commissioner and a set of legal declarations will be made on topics such as neutrality and abortion.

While Mr Cowen is expected to release limited details of the package today, several MEPs from across Europe have told the Herald that the fresh vote will take place four months after next June's European elections.

Vice President of the European Commission, Margot Wallstrom of Sweden, described October as a "realistic" date for Lisbon Two.

However, some have heavily criticised the fact that the Republic has demanded a permanent position on the commission.

German MEP Alexander Alvaro told the Herald yesterday that he thought the Irish ultimatum was "rubbish".

"Imagine a situation where Poland says 'we won't sign the treaty unless we get the high commissioner for foreign affairs'. We are not at a bazaar here," he said.

The member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe said he blamed the heads of states for not getting the message across last time.

And he hit out at "all this crap" that was put out during the last referendum debate.

"I'm not sure if people in Ireland were aware what 'no' means - 27 minus Ireland," he warned.

British MEP Richard Corbett also criticised the Irish proposal, noting that countries keeping the commissioner for two out of three years "was actually a victory for the smaller countries".

"It's not unreasonable that if 25 or 26 say yes and one says no, to ask the one if it's willing to reconsider," he said.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph