Lisbon Treaty referendum date set for Oct 2

The second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty will be held on October 2, Taoiseach Brian Cowen announced today.

The second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty will be held on October 2, Taoiseach Brian Cowen announced today.

The Taoiseach said legal guarantees granted over Irish concerns about the EU reform package paved the way for a new poll.

“On that basis, I recommended to the Government that we return to the people to seek their approval for Ireland to ratify the treaty,” he said. “That referendum will take place on October 2.”

Ireland struck an agreement with the other 26 EU member states last month regarding concerns believed to have led to a shock rejection of the treaty in last year's referendum.

After the deal, Mr Cowen said legal guarantees now made clear that Ireland retained control over taxes, neutrality and ethical issues, such as the right to life.

Officials in Brussels also agreed to an Irish request that the guarantees be incorporated as a protocol, legally enshrining them in a future EU treaty.

Ireland was the only country that went to the polls over the controversial and complex charter and its unexpected No vote thrust the EU into a crisis.

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