This weblog was honoured to support Cóir in the campaign against the Treaty. There was a fantastic response on the street earlier today. We have maintained a daily street presence in Galway. An evening canvass of course takes place and visits to Churches. Cóir have been active in the towns and cities around the country. Many thanks to all the 'NO' groups.
The Swedish premier, Fredrick Reinfeldt, has told The Irish Times that a second No vote to Lisbon would be respected and Ireland would not lose influence in Europe as a result.
Mr Reinfeldt said he hoped for a Yes vote in Ireland, but he said Sweden would respect the result whichever way the people voted and added that a No vote would stop the implementation of the treaty. “If it is a No, then we keep on with the Nice treaty,” said Mr Reinfeldt, who also downplayed claims that the first No vote had damaged Ireland’s reputation and led to a loss of its influence at EU level.
“There is a deep respect for political processes and democracies. We have had No referendums in other countries as well. It is important to see that every time we have seen that the EU has shown an openness to listen,” he said. “This will not affect the possibility of Ireland to have influence.
Mr Reinfeldt said talks have been held about what to do if there is a No vote, particularly on how to comply with the Nice treaty provision that mandates an immediate reduction in size of the next European Commission.
The Lisbon Treaty includes a clause that can overturn this provision through a unanimous vote of all 27 EU leaders. The European Council last December agreed it would invoke the clause to meet the Irish public’s concerns. But this clause is not contained in the Nice treaty, presenting the EU with an immediate legal problem if Ireland votes No.
Mr Reinfeldt said a “26 plus one option” was probably the best solution, whereby 26 states retain their commissioner and the 27th state is offered the post of high representative for foreign affairs instead. This would give all 27 countries a top EU job, while complying with the legal condition for an EU executive of less than 27 members, which is stipulated in the Nice treaty.