Looks like Ireland…

…has rejected the Lisbon Treaty, according to the BBC.

Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern says substantial vote tallies across the country show the European Union Lisbon reform treaty has been rejected.

Tallies are not official, but Mr Ahern says it is clear the No vote is ahead in a vast majority of constituencies.

This would scupper the treaty, which must be ratified by all members. Only Ireland has held a public vote on it.

Mr Ahern is the first senior figure from the Irish government to admit that it looked like the treaty had failed.

“It looks like this will be a No vote,” Mr Ahern said on live television. “At the end of the day, for a myriad of reasons, the people have spoken.”

He said it looked like other EU countries would ratify the treaty, so an Irish No vote would leave the EU in “unchartered waters”.

Earlier, Europe Minister Dick Roche had admitted “it is not looking good”, after state broadcaster RTE said that the Yes vote was “in difficulty”.

I’m not sure what to think about this right now. Though I predict an anti-Irish backlash in some sections, based on “all the money Ireland got from the EU and this is how they repay us” argument. One could look at Spain, Portugal, Greece and most of Eastern Europe in a similar light – all recipients of major structural funds from Brussels.

I wonder what the results would have been had any other member state been obliged to have a referendum on this?

I also predict the right-wing British press will love this, making lots of pointless comparisons to Dunkirk spirit and keeping the babarians at the gate etc.

Watch this space.

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