25/08/2008

Roche Lends Support To Second Lisbon Referendum Proposal

The European Affairs Minister has said he supports having a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Dick Roche (pictured) said although the Government has yet to make a decision on the matter, his own personal view is that a re-run of the Treaty referendum would be the "appropriate response" to the Ireland's European troubles.

In an interview with French national news service France 24 just before the vote in June, Mr Roche was asked, "assuming the 'No' vote wins, what will happen next in Ireland and Europe?"

Although avoiding suggestions of a second treaty at the time, he answered: "I think it will be very, very bad for Europe if the 'No' vote wins. And very bad for Ireland.

"I believe that this is a good treaty (although it’s very difficult to read). I believe that the content of the Treaty, and the aims and the objectives of the treaty, are very beneficial for the European project."

However, during Dick Roche's recent comments the Minister said that "we can't rule out the possibility of a second referendum if the circumstances are right".

"My personal view is that a referendum is ultimately the appropriate response to the position in which we find ourselves," he said.

The Government is playing down his comments - it has said it will not be making any decision until a detailed analysis of the defeat is completed.

(DW)

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