Accentuate the Positive

The result of the 2008 Lisbon Treaty referendum

The result of the 2008 Irish Lisbon Treaty referendum

On the first Friday in October, about half of the Irish electorate will go to the polls in an attempt to pass the Lisbon Treaty into Irish law, having already failed to do so in June 2008. On that previous occasion, a turnout of 53% of the electorate rejected the 28th Amendment to the Constitution by a margin of nearly seven per cent (53.4% against the Treaty as opposed to 46.6% in favour). The Lisbon Treaty is a replacement for the failed European Constitution that was rejected by voters from France and Holland in 2005. Its main purpose is to tidy up all previous treaties such as the Treaty of Rome and the Treaty of Maastricht. So far, Ireland is the only country that hasn’t passed the Treaty and Ireland is also the only country to hold a referendum on the Treaty. The reason that Ireland requires a referendum arises from the Irish Supreme Court decision of 1987 that major changes to any Treaty of Europe would require a mandate from the Irish people. So, the result of Friday’s referendum will not only affect the 4.5 million inhabitants of Ireland, but also the other 490 million citizens that make up the remainder of the European Union

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