Irish European Constitution Referendum

Irish European Constitution Referendum

The Irish referendum on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe was a vote that was planned but did not occur. The referendum was expected to take place in 2005 or 2006 to decide whether Ireland should ratify the proposed EU Constitution. Following the rejection of the Constitution by voters in the French referendum of May 2005 and the Dutch referendum of June 2005, the planned Irish referendum was postponed indefinitely.

The government of Ireland signed the "Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe" on 29 October 2004. However the ratification of major EU treaties, starting with the Single European Act of 1986, requires the amendment of Article 29 of the Constitution of Ireland, which prescribes the extent to which Irish law can be superseded by other laws, including EU law. Amendments of the Constitution of Ireland can only be approved by referendum.

A TNS/MRBI Irish Times opinion poll on 14 June 2005 showed that while 45% of voters wished to see a referendum, only 30% would vote yes in the constitutional referendum, with 35% voting no and 35% unsure.

The then government parties of Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrat were in favour of a yes vote. Fine Gael, the main opposition party was also in favour of a yes vote. The Labour Party, like the French Socialist Party, was divided, with its parliamentary leadership supporting ratification but its youth wing calling for a rejection. The other left-wing parties were calling for a no vote, including Sinn Féin, the Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party. The Green Party, was split on the text and a special convention to determine its position was called off after the Dutch and French 'no' votes.

Read more about Irish European Constitution Referendum:  Lisbon Treaty

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