Second Lisbon Treaty referendum 'only way forward'

Second Lisbon Treaty referendum 'only way forward'

A second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is the only way for Europe to make progress, a senior French politician said today.

Axel Poniatowski, chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee in the National Assembly, said there was no other option but to ask the people to vote again within 12 months.

At the end of a two-day summit of European leaders yesterday, just a week after Ireland’s rejection of the controversial treaty, Taoiseach Brian Cowen acknowledged there was no interest among his counterparts for renegotiation.

“I don’t see any other choice,” Mr Poniatowski told radio station Newstalk.

He added it was necessary as the Union was in a state of paralysis because it was governed by the Nice Treaty.

Yesterday French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that unless Lisbon was ratified enlargement was on hold.

The prospect of a second referendum comes as the damning findings of a poll published yesterday revealed people felt the Yes campaign was weaker than the No side, even those who backed the treaty.

The Eurobarometer poll showed some 57% of Yes voters said they thought the No camp was more convincing.

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