TDs debate Lisbon 'No' vote

TDs will today hold a lengthy Dáil debate on the failed Lisbon Treaty referendum.

European Union reform was plunged into chaos last week when the controversial charter was rejected in a referendum by 53.4% to 46.6%.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen is due to explain the shock verdict to EU leaders at the European Council summit in Brussels tomorrow.

He is expected to tell the politicians that the Government accepts and respects the referendum result, but wants to ensure that the country is not left isolated within the 27-state bloc.

Mr Cowen and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin will also discuss the issue at the Cabinet Sub-Committee on European Affairs being convened today.

The Taoiseach warned yesterday that Ireland could now lose its EU Commissioner for good because voters had rejected the Treaty.

Under the Treaty’s provisions, Ireland and other EU states would have retained a Commissioner for 10 out of every 15 years.

Meanwhile, the Dáil is to sit another week in July to compensate for adjourning last week to allow parties to complete campaigning for the Lisbon Treaty.

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